A strong supporter of Tourism HR Canada and its Emerit programming for over 20 years, HT Hospitality Training reinvented the approach to training and securing employment in Ottawa’s tourism workforce. What once started out as a line cook training program operating out of a home office has expanded to a SMART+ nationally accredited, multi-course offering for various frontline hospitality positions such as Front Desk Agent, Food and Beverage Server, and Housekeeping, to name a few, out of its modern downtown training facilities.
HT’s fast-track training programs prepare people to become employment-ready in a matter of just weeks. Its diverse portfolio of students consists of newcomers seeking Canadian work experience, those looking for a career change, and those entering the workforce for the first time. Since its opening in 2001, over 3,000 graduates have completed HT training programs. With an employment rate of over 90% upon graduation, this translates to thousands of people becoming financially independent.
HT continues to evolve its course offerings to keep up with current and future labour demands. Students can now access HT courses through flexible online and in-person delivery methods in English and French. HT applies a holistic approach that goes far beyond teaching just the technical and soft skills required for the job. Instead, it also incorporates other essential elements to help students succeed in the classroom, at work, and in their personal lives. This includes connecting students to resources that can assist with mental health wellness and other social services that may be needed. Students also have access to a safe space on campus to interact in person and attend their virtual training program.
With businesses and consumers negatively impacted by today’s labour shortages (which are projected to get worse), now is the time to reintroduce the meaningful work HT does to help offset these predicaments. HT is committed to being the tourism recovery solution that both employers and displaced workers seek.
The global-oriented Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management graduate certificate program offered by Centennial College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts has been awarded SMART + Premium accreditation from Tourism HR Canada.
SMART is a flexible and inclusive accreditation program that responds to the identified needs of program providers, learners, and industry alike. It is a direct outcome of Tourism HR Canada’s goal to improve the quality and mobility of the tourism workforce.
“We are delighted to recognize Centennial College’s commitment to excellence in education,” states Philip Mondor, Tourism HR Canada president and CEO. “Its focus on collaborative, hands-on programming that aligns with the current and emerging skills sought by industry helps to ensure Canada has the adaptable, inventive talent that will help our sector recover and thrive as the visitor economy reopens.”
Canada’s hotels, resorts, and restaurants are world-renowned, and their standards have become global benchmarks to which many successful organizations aspire. Centennial’s courses teach these standards, supported by deep-rooted relationships with multinational hotel, resort, and restaurant organizations.
The program, bolstered by Tourism HR Canada accreditation, gives students the tools to answer the call of the dynamic and truly international hospitality industry. The Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management program includes a 14-week work integrated learning component that immerses students in real-world work situations where they can accumulate relevant experience.
“This accreditation reinforces the uniqueness and premium academic quality within the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management program,” says Cyrus K. Cooper, professor and academic coordinator of the Centennial program. “The program not only helps hospitality professionals build their skills, but also prepares them to advance their careers and make the move into senior leadership positions.”
Established in 1966, Centennial College is Ontario’s first public college. It primarily serves the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area through five campuses and six satellite locations. Best known for its record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership-building, Centennial enrols more than 25,000 full-time students and 20,000 part-time learners annually. This marks the third of Centennial’s programs to achieve the SMART + designation.
Learn more about Centennial’s unique one-year Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management graduate certificate program.
Learn more about Tourism HR Canada’s SMART + Premium accreditation.
The SMART accreditation program has hit another milestone: HT Hospitality Training becomes the first private institution to achieve the SMART+ distinction, highlighting the range of high-quality programming available to those wishing to start or further a career in tourism and hospitality.
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, since 2002, the hospitality training company offers short-term, hands-on courses for unemployed and underemployed individuals. The newly accredited programs are:
- Housekeeping Room Attendant
- Banquet Server, In-Room Dining, and Food & Beverage Server
- Front Desk Agent
Each one weaves together national occupational standards, transferable skills, job performance and health and safety standards, technical skills, and career planning. Students earn multiple certificates, including Emerit, First Aid/CPR, WHMIS, Smart Serve, and food safety.
“We are proud of this wonderful achievement. It affirms the work we have been doing, and we are hopeful that it will open up new opportunities for us to guide even more people in acquiring the essential skills, information, and connections to start a solid career in hospitality and tourism, while serving the needs of our industry partners,” said Norman McEvoy II, President and Director of Operations, HT Hospitality Training.
The team ensures programming keeps pace with evolving industry skill requirements. Staff members must have tourism experience. They are well connected with the local sector and actively seek feedback to reflect current practices in their courses. Past students and tourism employers visit classes to share their employment journeys.
Experiential learning is a priority. Each student completes a supervised three-week placement at an area property, allowing them to apply their learning firsthand and experience how key transferable skills such as customer service, teamwork, and communications play out on the job. Students graduate well placed to gain employment—and economic independence—upon completion of their program.
HT Hospitality Training follows a Social Purpose Business model. Its mandate is to effect change by making a positive impact on students and society by placing vulnerable clients in established, permanent positions in Ottawa’s thriving hospitality sector. Its long-standing funding partnerships ensure students can access the courses at no cost. Ongoing communication with area employers ensures the school focuses on occupations in need of staff and that students complete their training at peak hiring times.
Diversity is a key strength at HT Hospitality Training: students represent a wide variety of equity groups, fostering respect, teamwork, and open communication. They can access many supports to overcome challenges to completing their courses and gaining employment. Newcomers to Canada can arrange additional onsite language training. Program delivery methods are varied to cater to all learning styles. Staff consult with the Ontario Disability Support Program and social workers to provide an inclusive and supportive learning environment. Frequent student feedback identifies further areas for assistance.
“HT Hospitality Training is known for its practical, tailored learning experiences aimed at helping newcomers and others get meaningful tourism jobs,” stated Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “Our sincere congratulations to the team on its dedication to creating a skilled tourism labour force and empowering its students to reach their education and employment goals.”
Tourism HR Canada congratulates the latest post-secondary program to achieve its SMART + accreditation status. Confederation College’s Tourism – Travel and Eco-Adventure program demonstrated its tourism-related programming exceeds industry standards as envisioned in the SMART accreditation program.
“This recognition is an impressive accomplishment, and we commend Confederation College for its commitment to creating programming that reflects current industry needs and provides the type of graduate that will be integral to growing Canada’s tourism sector,” stated Tourism HR Canada President and CEO Philip Mondor.
Confederation’s two-year diploma program provides a comprehensive introduction to the tourism industry through hands-on and experiential learning. Courses cover topics ranging from tourism marketing and business fundamentals to sustainability and ecotourism. Students can choose French or Spanish language options and a field placement or study abroad opportunity. A mix of delivery methods keeps learning fresh—students participate in traditional lectures in person or online, as well as hands-on work-related projects, field placements, familiarization trips, guest speakers, and field trips.
“We have worked very hard to achieve this accreditation, which reinforces that our program is of premium quality,” said Program Coordinator Giannina Veltri. “Exceeding the industry standards has made our program measurable, adaptable, and responsive to today’s tourism industry demands. This is evidence that our students are receiving and have received the best possible experience during the two years of their Tourism – Travel & Eco-Adventure program. Faculty are committed to providing educational opportunities to a diverse population, training students for a wide range of careers in the tourism field.”
The program prioritizes inclusivity, offering authentic Indigenous activities, Indigenous learning outcomes, support for students with learning challenges, and services for international students.
In-depth industry engagement ensures the program reflects current, real-world practices and technologies. Students can access mentoring and networking opportunities through Baxter Media’s Baxter Student Ambassador Program. They can also earn numerous industry certifications and licenses to round out their résumés.
“I’m very proud of this fantastic accomplishment,” stated Richard Gemill, Dean, School of Business, Hospitality and Media Arts. “The hours that [faculty members] Matthew Villella and Giannina Veltri spent throughout the accreditation process were tremendous, but pale with respect to the amount of time they spend each and every day with their students. The certifications, the excursions, the labs are all part of the program, but it is the time they spend outside of the classroom that really impacts students. Connecting with our community and industry partners on job prospects and creating partnerships with industry to help service remote communities are just two examples of the amazing work they have accomplished over the last couple of years. Achieving Tourism HR Canada’s SMART + accreditation is a testament to the dedication of Giannina and Matt to our students, our program and our community.”
The SMART Accreditation Program offers two levels of accreditation: SMART Program status for programs that meet a basic standard and a SMART + Premium Program status for programs exceeding the basic standard. The SMART Accreditation Program provides an opportunity for post-secondary public or private institutions and corporate training providers to demonstrate that their programming meets or exceeds industry standards, and offers benchmarks that tourism educators can use to assist them in continually improving their programs.