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Manager, Workforce Development
401-223-1120, ext. 111
Training Academy News
Finding employees that are ready to work and well suited for hospitality positions can be time consuming and trying. Then, getting applicants trained for the job and helping them make it through the first 30 days is equally as challenging. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a program that could help owners and managers find, support and train great employees? Well there is, the RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF) and the Governor’s Workforce Board have teamed up to offer a new program designed to provide support and training for unemployed people looking for jobs in the hospitality industry in Rhode Island. The program, Workforce On-Ramps, is designed to be a pathway for candidates to acquire the skills and behaviors necessary to be successful employees. In conjunction with this partnership, Kristie Costa has been hired as RIHEF’s Hospitality Job Coach for the new program.
Kristie has 20 years of experience within the industry in a variety of positions. She has owned her own restaurant as well as worked for Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and Brinker International and many independent restaurants across the United States. Her passion for employee development and firsthand knowledge of the industry makes her a great fit for the Job Coach position.
In her new role, Kristie will be facilitating the Workforce On-Ramp process for both employers and employees. All participants are carefully screened to ensure that they have the motivation and desire to be employed within the hospitality industry. They receive work readiness training that includes skills development in communication, problem solving, conflict resolution and teamwork. After passing a four- hour national work readiness assessment they move on to job coaching.
Kristie assists the candidates with exploring the career paths available in the hospitality industry as well as the specific abilities and behaviors necessary to succeed. Kristie will be ensuring the candidate has a clear and realistic understanding of the job and the industry. Candidates are then matched to an employer for “work experience training”, which will provide them with the training necessary for the job they wish to pursue. Work experience training is a great opportunity for the employer to get to know the employee before a long term commitment is made and there are even wage subsidies available with approval from the Governor’s Workforce Board to help defer the cost of training and provide additional wage assistance if an offer of employment is made. The employer and the employee will have access to the hospitality job coach to help facilitate the process and address any issues that arise to ensure the candidate retains and completes the work experience.
The goal of the pilot program is to get people working at a job they are suited for and interested in, thus providing a better employee. Employers will save time and money on locating and sifting through applicants and potentially receive some reimbursement for wages. In addition, employees that enjoy their job and are well trained reduce turnover and the impact on the bottom line is tangible. For more information on how you can receive employee referrals, please contact Kristie Costa directly at Kristie@rihospitality.org or 401-223-1120 ext. 120.