FAU Offers Help to Workers Struggling During Coronavirus Pandemic
Florida Atlantic University’s nationally ranked Hospitality and Tourism Management program, within FAU’s College of Business, is offering a free certificate to industry workers and professionals who may be affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Through a series of five online sessions in April, participants can learn about the core components required for success in the industry. The sessions cover hospitality law, career competencies, marketing and revenue management, finance fundamentals and service excellence. More than 56,000 people from 144 countries already have signed up for the certificate program.
“Hospitality will always rebound, but this is the first global crisis where every hospitality segment was affected at the same time,” said Peter Ricci, Ed.D., director of FAU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program.
FAU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program, ranked by The Best Schools as one of the top 30 hospitality programs in the country, has offered the certificate for more than 10 years at a cost of $900 per participant, but FAU is waiving all fees to help workers weather this unprecedented period. The FAU faculty have abbreviated the existing certificate and created new content to give as many participants access as possible. Even though modified, there are more than 15 hours of useful videos, interviews and relevant information.
Hospitality is the largest private employer in Florida with more than 1.1 million people, but estimates show that roughly half of those workers have been laid off or had hours reduced since the pandemic disrupted nearly every aspect of American life. During the down time, workers may question their career choice, said Ricci.
“This is a tool to keep people positively engaged while they are not at work so they can be better prepared to hit the ground running when things do ramp back up,” he said, adding that the sessions highlight key areas covered by hospitality and tourism students who pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration from FAU.
The certificate can benefit hourly associates, supervisors and executives who work in hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, casinos or for any service-oriented business.
Sessions will begin on April 9, though the coursework will be recorded for viewing at any time. Attendance and progress will be measured by short quizzes after each session.