Over the summer, the NHLRA forged a new relationship with Girls Incorporated. Girls Inc. of New Hampshire inspires all girls to be strong (through healthy living), smart (through education), and bold (through independence), providing thousands of girls with life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges they face.
I was excited to be invited to their Young Women’s Leadership Camp and have the opportunity to talk about hospitality with them not once, not twice, but three times!
Getting to know hospitality
The first visit was with 30 young ladies (grades 6-10) at the site of their camp on Saint Anselm’s campus. We talked about what hospitality is and I learned once again that the word “hospitality” is not one that is understood by young students. They immediately think of hospitals. We could be losing some students who may interested right out the gate because they don’t know what hospitality means. I shared all about the industry and the types of properties and jobs they may find. We had a conversation about the importance of the industry to the state. I was lucky to be joined by Chef Nicole Barreira and Chef Megan Fournier from Great NH Restaurants who each shared their experiences as they made salsa with the campers.
Thank you, chefs, for sharing your passion with these young ladies!
The second opportunity came when the Downtown Manchester Hotel hosted the campers for a tour of the property. They saw everything from the banquet rooms to housekeeping and from the back office to the kitchen. After the tour, armed with milk and cookies, the girls had an activity where they had to guess what their job was based on questions they could ask their partner. There were many jobs such as pantry worker and controller which started a discussion about what those jobs were and how they were important to the Downtown Manchester Hotel. Next, a panel of women holding leadership roles at the property- general manager, controller, banquet manager, executive housekeeper, restaurant manager, front office manager, and director of sales shared their career path and why they love what they do. They also shared the number of steps they walked in a shift and the girls had to figure out how walked the most. Director of Human Resources, Ray Bewsher and General Manager, Kim Roy were amazing and instrumental in making this visit a success!
Meeting with industry experts
Finally, Girls Inc. invited us back for another visit to Saint Anselm where students were able to interact with five women from industry – executive chef, restaurant owner, training/ leadership director, director of events, on-site catering/ off-site catering manager and social media manager. The campers had to visit each guest and ask questions about their career, such as what is your education background, do you like your job, etc. A big thank you to Angelina Jacobs, Cabonnay; Stacy Krecklow, Ohana Kitchen; Tiffany Black, Gellfam Management; Kelsey French, Three Chimney’s Inn; and Taylor Brown, Fratello’s for taking the time to engage with the 30 young women who came to your table.
It’s hard to determine the return on investment at these events, but the hope is throughout industry panels, tours, and more there will be a few who we will reach and peak their interest in possibly pursuing hospitality as a first job, choosing a program at their Career and Technical Education Center or a career. Only time will tell as we continue to actively try help increase enrollment in our schools and decrease our workforce issues.
If you would be interested in being part of activities such as the program with Girls Incorporated, please contact Amie Pariseau, education and workforce development director at email@example.com or 603.228.9585.