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NMSU to offer mastery certificate programs to help fill gaps in NM hospitality industry

  • By Alyssa Lockman
  • 505-385-5779
  • alockman@nmsu.edu
  • Nov 02, 2021
A flyer

Restart New Mexico will pay the cost for a group of New Mexico residents to take three content mastery certificate programs offered through New Mexico State University to address skills gaps in the hospitality and tourism industry.

The hospitality and tourism industry has endured unprecedented hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses have faced reductions in revenue while enduring additional expenses to help make their businesses safe for consumers and travelers. As the industry begins to recover, it now faces a second crisis of a lack of workers to open and operate hotels, restaurants and other tourism businesses.

To address these skills gaps and prepare employees to enter the hospitality and tourism workforce, the NMSU School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, in conjunction with the NMSU Office of Digital Learning, has been awarded funding from Restart New Mexico to develop and deliver three content mastery certificate programs.

Each certificate will consist of three online courses, which can each be completed within four weeks. The courses will carry a digital badge, with the certificate achievable within 12 weeks. The badges provide hospitality and tourism employers confidence that job candidates and employees have achieved the desired skills and competencies. Following completion of the three-course series, students will receive a content mastery certificate from NMSU.

All three courses will be offered in sets, entirely online through NMSU On-Demand

The first set, “Essentials of Customer Service,” focuses on customer service for the hourly worker. The second set, “Customer Service Essentials for Supervisors and Managers,” covers supervision and management for excellent customer service. The third set, “Essentials of Food and Beverage Operations,” addresses food and beverage skills and competencies necessary for the high-demand positions of fast-food and counter workers, cooks and food prep, and waiters and waitresses, including New Mexico food handlers’ certification. 

The funds from Restart New Mexico will pay for the cost for a group of New Mexico residents to complete each of the three certificate programs. The certificate programs are available to non-residents as well, but will require payment.

For all courses, applicants must read and speak English fluently. Applicants will also need regular access to a computer and the internet (four to six hours per week, spread across several days). Applicants must be at least 16 years old. There are no additional requirements or skills necessary for the “Essentials of Customer Service” or “Essentials of Food and Beverage Operations” certificate courses. 

For the second series of short courses, “Customer Service Essentials for Supervisors and Managers,” applicants should either be currently employed in the hospitality industry or have completed the first series “Essentials of Customer Service.” 

The “Essentials of Customer Service” certificate course will start Nov. 8. The other two certificate programs will be available starting in February 2022, with students completing by May 2022. Each of the three certificate programs can be completed in 12 weeks. It is anticipated that the courses will continue to be offered as part of the long-term sustainable strategy of preparing and keeping the workforce in New Mexico.

For more information about the project or certificates, email jhertzma@nmsu.edu. Registration is open now for “The Essentials of Customer Service” certificate course. To enroll, click here. Participants will be asked to complete a brief survey. The first 25 New Mexico residents to do so will receive a promo code to complete the registration for free.