START Hospitality Program
START (Skills, Tasks, And Results Training), is a one-year classroom and internship curriculum for students over 18 years of age with special needs. The program provides students the real world knowledge and skills for a long-term career in the Hospitality Industry. Workplace and independent capabilities are built in through focused reading, writing and math skills development. This nationally recognized program is a collaboration by the American Hotel & Lodging Institute, the NH Lodging and Restaurant Association, the Strafford Learning Center and Great Bay Community College.
This three semester program includes:
- An in-class overview of the lodging industry and common hotel entry-level positions.
- Job shadows at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel
- Industry internships at a hotel, restaurant or other appropriate facility.
- An internationally recognize entry-level certification from the American Hotel and Lodging Association's Educational Institute in the student's specific area of demonstrated proficiency
First term, students attend class here at Great Bay Community College and are introduced to the different operations at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel through a 10-day job shadow. Second & third term, students prepare for the national certification exam from the American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute and begin their 80 days in the community interning with a partner organization.
Some of our key partners include NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, SAU 54-Rochester, Strafford Learning Center, Three Chimneys Inn, Edgewood Center, NH Vocational Rehabilitation, DHHS Medicaid Infrastructure Grant/Granite State Employment Project, Community Partners Developmental Services and Behavioral Health, OneSky Community Services, Dover Children's Home, Office of Public Guardian, Living Innovations, SAU 64 - Milton/Wakefield, and SAU 52 - Portsmouth.
Sheraton Portsmouth Pilots START Program
Meghan Proctor, Human Resources Director, Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel with
John Jenkins, START Program Graduate, Class of '09
Nominated by Great Bay Community College, the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel received the 2009 Employment Leadership Award. Given at the Statewide Employer Recognition Breakfast, the Employment Leadership Award acknowledges the efforts of Granite State businesses that are actively implementing disability employment practices. The event was made possible by the Granite State Employment Project, LinkAbilities and the Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions, and was held in October in part to celebrate National Disability Awareness Month.
The mission of the Granite State Employment Project is to improve the employment for people with disabilities in New Hampshire by establishing two pilot models that will create leadership, collaboration with the community, outreach to employers, businesses, and school systems, build capacity for training and staff development, and support the information technology and employment database needs of the projects.
"Our partnership with the START program through Great Bay Community College has truly been a win-win situation. We are able to provide hands-on learning experiences through job shadows and as a result, we are assisting in the development of future workers for the hospitality industry. The curriculum of the START program allows the students to choose a specific position of focus, and because the program is certified by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, we know that each student will be well prepared to start an entry-level position in our industry. The Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel is proud to be working towards developing future workers in hospitality!"
~Meghan Proctor, Director of Human Resources
SHERATON PORTSMOUTH HARBORSIDE HOTEL