Helping Serve California’s Economy
July 7, 2011
By Stephanie Thara
Accounting for $1.3 trillion dollars in sales and providing more than 13.6 million jobs in the United States, hospitality has truly become an integral part of the nation’s economy. In support of this vital industry, the California State University offers hospitality management degree programs at 14 campuses and has developed the Hospitality Management Education Initiative (HMEI) as a way to help provide an uninterrupted supply of hospitality leaders in California.
In addition to forging ties among industry leaders and educators, the initiative offers:
- career planning
- job placement assistance
- latest industry news
- internships and work experience opportunities
- facts about scholarships
- study abroad opportunities
- information on student clubs and activities
- listings for professional associations, industry publications and academic journals
As part of the CSU’s effort to constantly enhance the hospitality programs offered, the HMEI has a Hospitality Industry Advisory Board and a Hospitality Management Program Leaders Committee who meet on an annual basis to discuss industry needs and opportunities to advance hospitality education statewide. Members of the Advisory Board and Program Leaders are knowledgeable experts in key hospitality industries and cover topics such as curriculum, best practices, and educational opportunities for students, faculty and industry professionals.
The HMEI strives to supply the industry with students that possess a well-rounded education and has become an indispensable force within the hospitality community. Key industry leaders, recruiters and companies seek out CSU graduates for a number of reasons including:
“The CSU system has a very hands-on approach. I love that the students here already have work experience that when they graduate and go into the work field, they are not solely based on books.”
-Tiffany Daie; Account Executive, Marriott International, Inc.
“We like to recruit at the state colleges, specifically with hospitality programs. Ideally, coming to the college campus we find people with flexible hours; people that can learn in the classroom, but make it relevant in the restaurant. And hopefully once they graduate be a viable candidate for management.”
- Jennifer Bowles; Management Recruiter, California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.
“There’s always going to be a need for quality talent, for employees who have been trained in the field or educated, who can climb up the corporate ladder and end up running a hotel, being a general manager, owning a restaurant or running a restaurant, and you can’t find that kind of quality unless you’re gaining access to potential employees from institutions like the CSU system.”
- Jot Condie; CEO, California Restaurant Association