Building an Online Hospitality Training Program

One in three Americans begins their work life in a hospitality business and most come to those jobs without any training. We’re looking to change that. Through the Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, we’re fostering the next generation of hospitality industry leaders through high school training and educating programs and by raising funds for student scholarships. It’s a long-term strategy to strengthen the workforce pipeline.

We’re also working on a shorter-term strategy, helping you find workers who already have some basic hospitality training. In collaboration with the Tourism Center at the University of Minnesota and Explore Minnesota Tourism, with support from a number of other organizations, we’re working to develop a hospitality training program that can have employees prepared to hit the ground running.

Computer with woman writingOne inspiration is the program developed by the South Dakota Department of Tourism. Online Hospitality Training has been made available to state businesses for assistance training their staff. Meant primarily for frontline employees, it offers modules in the basic skills needed to be successful starting out in hospitality.

We’d like to see Minnesota do something similar and so we’ve set about building a collaboration with the Tourism Center at the University of Minnesota, under the new leadership of Xinyi Qian, and Explore Minnesota Tourism, under the new leadership of Lauren Bennett McGinty, and several other organizations that work to promote hospitality and tourism in Minnesota.

We’re in the early days of development — vetting the idea with legislators, applying for grants to develop the curriculum, and seeking input from business leaders about what would be most useful. If you have thoughts or ideas, we encourage you to send them to us at

While it will be awhile before a program would be up and running, once it is we think it will be an invaluable resource for businesses to provide a base of hospitality training on which further training can be built.

Photo credit: Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

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