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Nunez Community College students earn key industry-based certification - Monday, February 10, 2014
Several Nunez students were awarded an industry-based certification (IBC) from the prestigious American Hotel & Lodging’s (AH&LA) Educational Institute (EI).

Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism (HRT) Program Manager, Calvin Desdunes, presented the five, business students with the "Certified Guest Service Professional” (CGSP) credential. The CGSP prepares holders for the entire line of guest service interaction: from front office, revenue management, food and beverage, and housekeeping to maintenance, security, human resources, and sales. AH&LA calls its EI "the global leader in hospitality training and hotel management certifications,” offering training in hotel & lodging best practices for "the highest standards of competency” as a professional in the industry.

A December 2013 University of New Orleans (UNO) Metropolitan report cites, "About 5.04 million visitors came to the New Orleans area in the first half of 2013, marking a 2% increase over the 4.94 million visitors who came during the same period in 2012. Spending estimates were $3.74 billion including gambling.”

Tabetha Schloegel, a Nunez student double-majoring in Business Administration and Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism, wants to be a part of that growing trend. Schloegel spent over seven years in the business and hospitality workforce, but returned to school for the credentials that will compliment her work experience.

"I chose my majors because of where we live and my previous experience. I think that with these degrees and with the location, I have a better chance of getting a job in the field I like—and  moving past entry-level positions faster because I have the experience plus these certifications.”

Nunez’s HRT Program Manager, Calvin Desdunes, agrees with his student.

"One great aspect of the hospitality industry is that many of the positions offer viability for those with an high school equivalence and there is on-the-job training. But, these stackable credentials really provide an extra edge because they say, ‘I’m coming to you ready and equipped as a highly-trained professional,’” said Desdunes, who is currently Vice Chair of the Hospitality Advisory Board at Warren Easton High School, and alum of UNO’s HRT and MBA programs. Desdunes started working in the hospitality industry when he was only 14 years old, at what is now Ruth’s Chris Steak House. An EI "Certified Hospitality Educator,” Desdunes has both taught at local, community colleges and worked with many top, hotel chains.

The five students who received their CGSP certificates and pins were Maxwell Austin, Kayla Davis, Guyrikka Gabriel, Tabetha Schloegel, and Judina Tarleton. Their certification was built in to the HRT program’s Intro to Hospitality Management class, offered at Nunez in the Fall 2013 semester.


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