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    • START for Academic Students

      Skills, Tasks, and Results Training (START) program, developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI), 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.

      Perfect as the introductory class for hotel operations, over (400) high schools and community colleges select START as the beginning course to transition to higher-level hospitality coursework. START begins by providing an overview of the hospitality industry and the career pathways available to each student, and continues with an in depth look at the front-line operations of the rooms division and food and beverage division.

      Students completing the START program are in a unique position to further enhance their hospitality education, as the curriculum highlights components of various hospitality positions available in the hotel; including front desk reservations, housekeeping, bell services, restaurant service, banquet setup, and more.

      Best of all, academic institutions can offer their students the opportunity to earn a professional industry certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. EI is the only place where students can earn an industry recognized and portable certification in order to get a jump start on their careers and have their resume stand out from the pack.


      The Skills, Tasks, and Results Training (START) program program components have been created with the instructor in mind - everything needed to teach the program has been provided  in a simple to use format, even for those instructors without a background in hospitality. Supplemental materials for enhanced learning can be purchased separately.

      • Textbook
      • Student Workbook (includes activities that develop core skills such as reading, writing, vocabulary, technology, and math)
      • Teacher Workbook
      • Lesson Plans
      • Assessments (also available on CD-ROM)
      • Videos/DVD's
      • Final Exam
      • Voucher for front-line certification
      • Transparency Masters/Power Point Slides
      • Documents and Templates


      Unit 1 - Hospitality Orientation

      • Hospitality and Careers
      • Professionalism
      • Guest Service
      • Safety and Security

      Unit 2 - Rooms Division

      • Rooms Division
      • Reservationist
      • Bell Services Attendant
      • Maintenance Worker
      • Public Space Cleaner
      • Front Desk Representative
      • PBX Operator
      • Guestroom Attendant
      • Laundry Attendant

      Unit 3 - Food and Beverage Division

      • Food and Beverage Division
      • Restaurant Server
      • Banquet Set-Up Employee
      • Banquet Server
      • Bus Person

      Program Benefits

      Program Benefits:

      • Provides specific skills knowledge leading to an industry recognized and portable professional certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
      • Provides a smooth transition to higher-level hospitality coursework
      • Prepares those students ready to go straight from the classroom and into the workforce with a selection of (12) entry-level lodging positions
      • Integrates core skills such as reading, writing, technology, and math into the lodging curriculum
      • Showcases the lodging industry as an industry of high-growth potential; one which has seen six consecutive quarters of employment growth
      • Teaches the foundation of lodging operations while promoting the long-term career pathways available to students
      • Promotes professionalism, confidence and positive work ethics

      To Download the START Program Brochure click here.



      Although START can be customized to a number of needs, often times we are asked to provide a sample syllabus for first-time instructors.

      Below please find the recommended break down for the START program.

      START  Number of Sections in Chapter  Recommended # of Hours Needed to Teach Chapter
      Unit 1: Hospitality Orientation  
      Ch. 1: Hospitality and Careers 4 7
      Ch. 2: Guest Service 4 8
      Ch. 3: Professionalism 4 8
      Ch. 4: Safety and Security 5 11
      Unit 2: Rooms Division
      Ch. 5: Rooms Division 5 9
      Ch. 6: Front Desk Representative 5 11
      Ch. 7: Reservationist 4 11
      Ch. 8: PBX Operator 4 9
      Ch. 9: Bell Services Attendant 5 11
      First Semester Total  4085
      Ch. 10: Guestroom Attendant 5 11
      Ch. 11: Maintenance Worker 5 11
      Ch. 12: Laundry Attendant 4 9
      Unit 3: Food and Beverage Division  
      Ch. 14: Food and Beverage Division 5 10
      Ch. 15: Restaurant Server 5 11
      Ch. 16: Banquet Setup Employee 4 9
      Ch. 17: Banquet Server 5 11
      Ch. 18: Bus Person 4 9
      Review for final 8
      Second Semester Total  41  95  

      Click here to see a sample syllabus that has been taught successfully in a 12 week time-frame.

      Professional Certification

      A distinct feature of the Skills, Tasks, and Results Training (START) program program is the opportunity for students to earn an industry recognized and portable professional certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

      Widely recognized as the preeminent leader in hospitality certification, EI strongly supports and encourages the certification of hospitality professionals. Certification demonstrates proficiency. It is a concrete indication of your skill, and shows employers and guests that you are committed to your profession and are well trained with proven abilities. Certification gives job seekers a competitive edge over noncertified candidates, increased job retention and an opportunity to earn higher wages.

      Students who successfully complete the START curriculum and pass the final exam will receive a voucher waiving the fees for a Hospitality Skills Certification in one (1) of the four (4) areas covered in the START curriculum. 

      In addition to the industry recognition, the START certifications are unique in that they highlight student's preferences. Since students are trained in various hospitality positions they can use their personal goals and interests to determine which of the qualifying positions best suit them for upward growth, setting the stage for their hospitality career.

      Front line certification designations available from the Educational Institute for START students include:

      • Front Desk Representative
      • Guestroom Attendant
      • Maintenance Employee
      • Restaurant Server

      For those schools wishing to explore a stackable certification option for their students, EI is pleased to present the Guest Service Gold® program and professional certification. Guest Service Gold® is a comprehensive program that can easily be incorporated into the START curriculum as a compliment to the program components. The goal of Guest Service Gold® is to create guest service-oriented front line employees who know how to engage with their guests in order to provide memorable guest service. Students who complete the Guest Service Gold® program have an opportunity to add yet another industry recognized certification— Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) from EI to their resume. Set the gold standard today!


      Who is the Educational Institute (EI)?

      EI is a 60-year-old, independent, nonprofit subsidiary of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. We create employee training materials for the hospitality industry, publish and distribute textbooks used for hospitality programs in high schools and universities, and oversee the professional certification program for the lodging industry.

      Why was the START curriculum created?

      The START (Skills, Tasks, and Results Training) program was created as a result of discussions with many Workforce Development professionals. They felt it was important to have career training that focused on the actual skills and tasks needed to secure a job and move up the career ladder.

      How was the START curriculum developed?

      We invited representatives from the hotel industry, workforce development, education, and corrections and formed a focus group that also included our instructional designers and other industry experts. This group looked at the potential student population, level of education and barriers to learning in order to develop the outline for the program.

      How long is the course?

      The course is designed to include 180 hours of classroom learning. Some instructors invite in guest speakers from the industry, arrange field trips to hotels to view the work being performed and provide additional hands on learning, which can add to the total course hours.

      What does the course teach?

      The course covers 12 of the major line-level positions in the hospitality industry and teaches the skills and tasks necessary to do each job. In addition, the student learns about the lodging industry, guest service, professionalism, safety and much more.

      What type of credentials does START provide?

      Graduates of the START class receive a Certificate of Completion from the Educational Institute once they pass the final exam with a score of 70% or higher. In addition, students may also apply for a professional certification in one of four line-level positions and/or guest service certification. These certifications are recognized nationally. The registration fee for the professional industry certification is waived for students of the START program.

      What is the target student base for the program?

      This curriculum can be used for both youth and adults. Workforce boards, correctional facilities and job corps use the program for skills training that directly feeds into the workforce. High schools and colleges use the program as an introductory class for higher-level hospitality coursework.

      How are the classes facilitated?

      The classes can be provided by One-Stop Centers, community or faith-based organizations, community colleges, alternative high schools or other facilities with classroom space.

      Does the teacher have to be from the hotel industry?

      Anyone with teaching or training experience can instruct the program. The program components have been created with the instructor in mind - everything needed to teach the program has been provided in a simple to use format (instructor workbook, lesson plans, overheads, assessments, etc.). Supplemental materials for enhanced learning can be purchased separately.

      How does the hotel industry support the program?

      We support the program on a local and national level. Before starting a program, a representative from the state hotel association will meet with you to help set up local hotel contacts that would like to participate (job shadowing, guest speaking, field trips, etc.). In addition, we will assist in contacting our member hotels when classes are about to graduate so we know where positions are available.

      What about starting pay rates?

      In the hotel industry, people start at the ground floor and work up. We have found that in many areas, hoteliers may be willing to start graduates at a slightly higher pay rate to recognize their accomplishments. In other cases, people have received raises after 90 days.

      How can a Workforce Investment Board get involved?

      It's easy. You can call us at the number below to set up a one-on-one conference call with the key stakeholders from your team to review the curriculum and components in order to help you evaluate the merits of initiating the START program in your area.

      Read Some of the START Success Stories!

      "The Skills, Tasks, and Results Training (START) program is viable and relevant to today's economy and at the same time is interesting and doable. It offers hope to the released inmate that she can find gainful employment upon release. The possibility that an inmate could leave prison, find employment, gain self worth and not come back to prison is our goal."

      Debbie Ressler, START instructor
      E. C. Brooks Correctional Facility, Muskegon, Michigan

      "The addition of the START program to Exodus' Refugee employment program is awesome. Having a more targeted hospitality training program gives their clients a heads-up about what they will be encountering on the job at the hotel. It will help facilitate my training process that they will have this introduction to the job."

      Carlos Burgos, Director of Style

      Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel, Carmel, Indiana

      Hires graduates from the START program at Exodus Refugee Immigration in Indianapolis, Indiana, to staff hotel's housekeeping department

      "Of the students in the inaugural class of the Skills, Tasks, And Results Training (START) workforce development program offered through the Human Resource Development division of Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina, 85% of students quickly found jobs after graduation. One graduate was hired as an assistant general manager, while another found a placement as a night auditor. Others found work in food  and beverage, room service, and front office positions."

      Samir Pawa, Hospitality Instructor
      Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, North Carolina

      "This certification is the hospitality industry's gold standard, showing they completed the 180-hour course, with a score of 70 percent or better. The objective is to make these women more marketable and to give them skills to assist them in re-entering the workforce."

      Alianna Timmins, START Instructor
      Swananoa Correctional Center for Women

      Joint program of the Department of Corrections and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

      "Recently, the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association partnered with the City of Denver on an important initiative to train displaced workers for careers in the hospitality industry. CH&LA is pleased to report that 74% of our students were placed in jobs immediately after completing the AHLEI training program."

      Stephanie Van Cleave, Deputy Director
      Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association, Denver, Colorado

      "We recently introduced the START Program at Hillsborough Community College for the first time in late 2011. Of the students that completed the class, 62% have secured positions in the industry within 30 days of the final exam. What started out as just teaching a class has shown me that what we are really doing is changing lives with this program. We look forward to teaching our next batch of students in 2012."

      Diane Ginsberg, Instructor
      Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, Florida

      For more information about Hospitality High School Programs:
      Email: highschool@ahla.com