Kingsborough’s Project Welcome Holds First Graduation

Kingsborough Community College (KCC) Center for Economic and Workforce Development held its first graduation for Project Welcome, Wednesday, August 29. Project Welcome, a program borne from a $1.6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to Kingsborough to train New York City residents in Tourism and Hospitality, was launched in February.
The program is free and is the first of its kind to be offered at KCC by the Center for Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education.
Students receive hands-on training and certification in food service, hotel-related jobs and meeting and event planning. The 12- to 15-week program includes certification test fees; books and supplies; internship opportunities; and assistance with job placement.
At the graduation, held in the KCC Marine and Academic Center Rotunda, Project Welcome issued certificates to more than 60 graduates, including 18 in Hospitality Sales and Marketing; 18 in Food Service Operations and 25 in Hospitality Operations and Management.
“We are delighted that Kingsborough competed successfully for the U.S. Department o Labor grant, the only college recipient in the State of New York and has now trained and certified the first 60 of more than 500 residents to be trained over the next three years for employment in the booming tourism and hospitality industry,” said Dr. Regina Peruggi, president of Kingsborough Community College.
The Department of Labor grant requires Kingsborough to recruit, train and seek placement for more than 500 New York City residents seeking employment in the hospitality industry in the next three years.
The grant is part of the President’s Community— Based Job Training Grants Initiative designed to strengthen the capacity of community colleges to equip workers with the skills that local industries require for success.
“The linkages established with our partners in the development of this project create collaborative and cooperative practices that are applicable to other industry sectors and will serve as an operational model for the Kingsborough Community College Center for Economic and Workforce Development,” said Dr. Stuart Schulman, executive director of the center.
“Community colleges are vital partners in educating and preparing workers for good jobs in their local areas,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “The $125 million these 72 community college partnerships will receive under the President’s Community-Based Job Training Initiative is going to help workers succeed in careers in health care, advanced manufacturing and other growing industries.”
To identify the challenges that employers in the hospitality and tourism sectors face in meeting their employment needs, the New York City Department of Small Business Services convened an employer advisory group to aid in the development of the training program. The agency has allocated $70 thousand per year for the three-year life of the training program.

Contact: Ruby Ryles