Hospitality industry training to be offered at VGCC Franklin Campus

Vance-Granville Community College is offering a training course at its Franklin County Campus that introduces area residents to careers in the hospitality and tourism industry.

The Hospitality START program will be offered from Oct. 3 through Dec. 17 in a hybrid format, which combines online coursework with classroom instruction on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m.

START (Skills, Tasks, and Results Training) is a curriculum developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). Students in this course will learn about 12 different hospitality positions and about the basic skills required to become successful in such careers.

The instructor, Betsy Gomez of Louisburg, has a bachelor’s in hospitality management from Florida International University and a master of management degree in hospitality from Cornell University. Her career has included management positions at the Ritz-Carlton in Miami and Royal Caribbean International.

“Those who take the course should expect to receive an in-depth view of the hospitality industry,” Gomez said. “They will also learn about careers in hotels, restaurants, cruise lines and golf courses.”

Upon successful completion of the START course, which includes a certification exam, students will receive a certificate from AHLEI. They will also be able to select one of these areas to become certified in a particular field: Front Desk Representative, Guestroom Attendant, Restaurant Server, or Maintenance Employee. The certificates that students receive can help them obtain employment or advance on the job.

The cost of the START course is $270.50, which includes books and exam fees.

Scholarships that will pay for registration fees, certification fees, books and necessary supplies are available to students who qualify through the NCWorks Job-Driven Initiative grant.

Since space is limited, prospective students are encouraged to register as soon as possible. Registration can be completed online at or in person at any VGCC campus. The Franklin Campus is located on N.C. 56 just outside Louisburg. For more information, contact Connie Ragland at or (252) 738-3300.