MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Our way of life has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic. As restaurants and other areas of the hospitality industry start to get back in the swing of things, employees need to learn how to get back into the workforce and do things a little differently. Many of them have either been furloughed or laid off due to the pandemic. But that challenge is being used as an opportunity to encourage those employees to use this downtime to train and become the very best at continuing the southern hospitality that Mobile is famous for when they get back to work while practicing social distancing. Thankfully, businesses are slowly starting to reopen.
“Of course there will have to be social distancing in those restaurants. There will probably be less people at the tables, we’re talking about maybe expanding seating outside of the restaurants. And so the people who work in these restaurants need to know these new rules, how to keep themselves safe,” said Anitra Belle Henderson, Mobile Civic Engagement Department.
You can get that information as well as information about what’s next for mobile for free through one of two, one week courses offered via Zoom through the City of Mobile, USA’s Hospitality, Tourism and Management program, and Visit Mobile.
“You’ll have an opportunity to really talk to some experts about the safety as well as cultural tourism. So for instance with the finding of the Clotilda, we’ll be talking a lot about Africatown and its history and what that means. With the finding of the Clotilda, that’s going to be tons of people coming when the city and the states open back up,” said Henderson.
Henderson says because of things like the Clotilda, the food, and Mardi Gras, people all over the world are beginning to see that Mobile is a place to celebrate and when they start coming to visit again, it’s important to continue exuding the city’s southern charm.
“We want to upscale our workforce to be able to handle that. Teaching them to take it to the next level. You know, what does excellence look like in southern hospitality? What’s that extra small Je ne sais quoi that makes Mobile what Mobile is. And so I don’t think we’ve ever had that opportunity to train our hospitality workforce on that and so this is our one great chance to be able to do that over a week, Henderson said.
Registration for the free hospitality courses is going on now at https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/ceps/htm/mobilestrong/. The first series will run from May 11 through May 15. The second series will be offered the following week from May 18 – May 22. The class limit is 100 participants per course. At the end of the courses, you will be invited to a virtual job fair.
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