The Resort at Longboat Key Club and USF Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) proudly announce the launch of a key regional partnership and new training program for USFSM students. As the official “Teaching Hotel” for the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, the Resort will be the site of The Teaching Lab program that will accommodate hospitality students each semester in a rotation that includes operational and administrative divisions of the Resort and Club. The inaugural program will allow students to shadow key leaders at the resort through Leadership, Front Desk, Housekeeping and Food & Beverage operations giving them “real-time” access to the processes and protocols of successfully managing these critical areas in a hospitality setting. The program also offers incomparable insights into the inter-departmental harmonization that is necessary on a daily and hourly basis to achieve optimal operational results and successful service delivery at the property.
“I am thrilled to be rolling out such an important and impactful program here at The Resort at Longboat Key Club. It exposes students to real situations and solutions that cannot be learned in a classroom setting,” said Jeff Mayers, General Manager of The Resort at Longboat Key Club. “Our goal is to produce top candidates for the next generation of hotel leadership in the region and to offer career opportunities within the Ocean Properties portfolio of properties. With 19.4% of our residents employed directly or indirectly within the hospitality industry it is imperative that we build a core foundation for future success within our own destination by partnering with our regional and local academic resources.”
“This is a very exciting opportunity to partner with The Resort at Longboat Key Club,” said Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, McKibbon Distinguished Chair and dean of the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership at USFSM. “Only a few hospitality programs in the country are affiliated with a teaching hotel, but we are especially pleased to be the only one with access to a resort hotel, membership club, spa, golf courses, a marina, restaurants and tennis facilities all on one property. The Resort will serve as a working laboratory for our students and faculty, providing invaluable, hands-on experience in all aspects of today’s hospitality industry. This partnership also opens the gateway to the great portfolio of Ocean Properties’ hotels, another unique advantage for USFSM students.”
The Teaching Lab program will be part of Dr. Keith Barron’s Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism class this fall. Dr. Serdar Ongan will be the faculty liaison representing USFSM and Ms. Mey Vidal-Paredes, Assistant Director of Human Resources will be managing the program assets for the resort along with Tamara Rogers, Director of Human Resources.
Each student will be expected to spend a minimum of four hours in the four departments for a total of 16 hours of on-site training. Students will be required to write a reflection paper at the end of the training period. They will also be required to attend the resort’s mandatory Associate Orientation Program prior to their training tenure. The inaugural group of students will arrive at the resort on September 16, 2014. It is anticipated the program, which begins with 23 students, will be expanded over the course of the upcoming semesters to include areas of Lodging Management and Restaurant Management.