Students from Central Andros High School's hospitality program recently visited Nassau to observe firsthand the operations of Atlantis and the Sheraton and assist in preparing them to achieve certification under the American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute's START program.
Eight students and three instructors spent two days with supervisors and managers in the hotel's various divisions, including the rooms and food and beverage operations, housekeeping and guest services, and engineering while they were given 'back of the house' tours to better understand the inner workings of a resort.
START, (the Skills, Tasks, and Results Training Program) has been incorporated in the high school hospitality studies program as a pilot at Central Andros High School and Anatol Rogers Senior High. BHA and the Ministry of Education are considering incorporating it into a broader tourism and hospitality studies initiative for the high schools which they are presently developing.
Developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, START is a one-year or 180 classroom hour curriculum that gives students the real-world knowledge and skills needed for a long-term career in the lodging industry. It provides specific skills and knowledge leading to professional certification by high school students. Industry and educators have touted its success in preparing students for entry-level lodging positions, promoting confidence and positive work ethics, and providing for a smooth transition to higher-level hospitality coursework.
Leading the program at Central Andros High School is Gailey Williams, the school's hospitality and tourism instructor. Prior to participating in the program, he achieved certification by AHLEI and also participated in the Bahamas Hotel Association's summer educator internship program and engaged in a number of other initiatives with industry and the Ministry of Tourism.
BHA President and Kerzner International Senior Vice President Stuart Bowe and Central Andros High School Hospitality and Tourism Instructor Gailey Williams pause with students, employees and school officials during a tour of the Atlantis facilities to expose students to the industry.