ELLSWORTH, Maine — For many businesses around the country, having enough of a workforce has been a challenge. That challenge has been even greater in Hancock County.
That’s why the Hancock County Technical Center added a hospitality program at the school to teach and encourage more young people to get involved in the industry.
Eve Young is the co-owner and GM at the Comfort Inn in Ellsworth. Young agreed to take on two student interns from the new Hospitality Program at the Hancock County Technical Center as soon as she heard about the course. She and the other co-owner, Witham Family Properties, believe it's important to the future of the industry.
“The hospitality and tourism industry is a major factor in Maine and so to have this program available to our youth and encourage them to get involved in it, is a great way for them to pave the road for them to go into hospitality,” Young said.
Alexis Higgins is a junior and one of the students in the program who was recognized on Wednesday. She said she will take the course again next year because she learned a lot about many aspects of the industry.
“With this class, we’ve gotten CPR and first aid certified, guest service, COVID-19 readiness, lodging certification,” Higgins said. “You’re going to get a hospitality certification when you were done with it after two years and it definitely gets you prepared and ready to actually go out in the workforce.”
Senior Nathan Smith is planning on going to college next year. He said no matter what he ends up doing, the course will help him in any industry.
“Even if I don’t go into the hospitality industry you can take those skills with you wherever you go in life,” Smith said. “It’s always good to know how to treat people and how to be kind and how to deal with different situations in the work field.”
“These two students have been amazing and I want them to pursue their dreams in hospitality so that they’re going to come back and help us out someday and run our hotels and restaurants,” Young said.