In December, St. Joseph’s announced it had been awarded $1 million in grants from the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) to market and expand the College’s new Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) program.
“St. Joseph’s College is undergoing a transformation, which we hope will help meet the growing employment needs of the region,” said SJC President S. Elizabeth Hill, C.S.J., J.D. “With this grant, we will be able to expand our new offerings in the fields of hospitality and tourism and create a more certain future for our students and the Long Island region, and for that, we are so thankful.”
The College will use the funds to expand its HTM program, the only four-year HTM degree program offered on Long Island, which was created to train and educate the future workforce in the fields of tourism, health care hospitality and hotel management. To further enhance the learning experience, the College has formed collaborative partnerships with hotels, hospitals, the eco- and agritourism industries, businesses, nonprofits, transportation entities, educational institutions and local, county and state government, to offer internships and spur job creation and economic growth on Long Island and throughout the greater New York Metropolitan area.
In addition, the College plans to renovate and redesign existing space on its Long Island Campus to house the new program and create a HTM business incubator. The on-campus renovations are expected to be complete in 2016.
The REDC was established in 2011 by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for each of the 10 regions of New York state. Over the past three years, the regional councils have awarded billions of dollars for job creation and community development. These councils are public-private partnerships comprising local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government and nongovernmental organizations.
Program’s Influence Continues to Grow
Also in December, the College was proud to host its first Hospitality and Tourism Symposium at the Long Island Campus. The event featured a panel of three esteemed leaders from the world of hospitality and tourism: Long Island Wine Council President Steven Bate; Concorde Hotel Group President and Long Island Hospitality and Leisure Association President Mike Johnston; and Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau President/CEO Moke McGowan.
On an inhospitably rainy morning, O’Connor Hall’s warm and welcoming McGann Conference Center filled with guests eager to dry off and participate in the day’s symposium — including local politicians, such as Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri, and representatives from Suffolk County Community College’s own hospitality program.
The interactive event was an opportunity to open SJC’s doors to industry professionals seeking to learn more about St. Joseph’s Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Management (IHTM), and to educate outsiders about the burgeoning hospitality industry on Long Island.
HTM co-chairs Gail Lamberta, Ph.D., and Eileen Jahn, Ph.D., moderated the symposium, which covered all aspects of the region’s offerings to visitors and residents. Each of the three panelists offered his own professional perspective, from the agritourism and winery tour boom of the East End, to the expanded growth and trends in hotel visitation and tourism on Long Island.