Philly’s hotel industry is growing, area colleges respond to need for workers

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia’s hotel industry is growing and area colleges are responding to the need for workers.

Next month’s opening of the Four Seasons in the new Comcast tower is one example.

“The demand for qualified hotel employees is very high right now,” Dr. Pam Carter said.

About 500 people will work there, and Center City is expected to add several more hotels by the end of next year.

That’s why Community College of Philadelphia is adding a new associate’s degree program in tourism and hospitality management that includes 400 hours of work experience, Carter says, dean of the school’s business and technology division.

“We have had a hospitality management program in place for a while now. But what we did was took a look at what we were doing and said, ‘We need to revamp it to really reflect what’s happening in the city,’” Carter explained.

Ed Grose, the executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, says the industry has been collaborating with area colleges, to create a pipeline of qualified workers.

“We work very closely with not only the Community College of Philadelphia but we also work with Temple University, Widener.  It’s a very important partnership,” he said.

Carter says the CCP program includes a Casino and Gaming Management course.

She expects at least 120 students in the program within the next two to three years.

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