Helping a stressed-out workforce

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

A community college system partners to provide training for hospitality workers.

The Maine Community College System (MCCS) is bringing a little stress relief to hospitality workers during the pandemic.

Hospitality work has always been stressful, but during the pandemic, new industry protocols such as social distancing, incessant cleaning and debating customers over face coverings, have led to on-the-job anxiety and even damaged mental and physical health.

With HospitalityMaine and community action agency The Opportunity Alliance, MCCS is providing new COVID Readiness Training, aimed at creating a sustained, healthy workforce for the state’s restaurant and hotel professionals. The two online courses – free to hospitality workers – cover stress management and the foundations of de-escalation.

“Learning de-escalation skills promotes a sense of safety, reduces burnout, and allows workers to interact with customers more confidently,” said Emily DaSilva, a public health expert at The Opportunity Alliance, in a release. “Good self-care and mental health practices are important acts of self-preservation and increases our ability to thrive day to day.”

Earlier this year, HospitalityMaine launched COVID-19 Restaurant Readiness and Lodging Foundations training. The training has been taken by more than 3,000 Mainers since May. And now, participants can earn four micro-credentials that can be put towards an associate degree at Eastern Maine Community College.

MCCS President David Daigler considers this training key in securing Maine’s status as a safe destination for vacationers.

“HospitalityMaine is a leader in understanding that micro-credentials, earned over short periods of time, are responsive to the current needs of the industry and can be combined to provide an efficient and effective path to developing the skills and longer-term credentials necessary in today’s economy,” Daigler said.

“Our industry’s long term recovery starts with educating our frontline employees on how to keep themselves and their guests safe and healthy,” said HospitalityMaine’s CEO Steve Hewins.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.