Southwest Tennessee Community College to offer free hospitality class next month

Southwest Tennessee Community College to offer free hospitality class next month

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A newly awarded grant from EDGE could soon open the doors for dozens of people to a career in hospitality.

With the hotel boom happening now in Memphis, Southwest Tennessee Community College is working to fill the industry’s growing workforce needs by offering a free, five-week hospitality training course beginning March 9.

Last year brought almost a thousand new rooms to the Bluff City.

“If you look across our city about 10 percent of our jobs are connected to the hospitality industry in someway. And we are seeing awesome growth in that opportunity,” said Dr. Glenda Collins, Southwest Director of Workforce Programs & Partnerships.

And even more projects are in the pipeline like the new Home2Suites by Hilton, planned for Vance Avenue downtown.

“We are teaching you some of those essential customer service skills that could send you progressing in your role rather quickly. So that could go from front desk attendant, to manager, and then thinking about a general manager position from there,” said Dr. Collins.

Classes will be held three days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the community college’s Whitehaven campus. First priority for open spots will be given to residence in that area. This class is open to 20 students, but another round of free classes is slated for May.

Students will graduate with a Food Handler certification and Guest Service Professional certification, providing them with a leg up on applying for entry level positions.

“We’ve been working with our industry partners from day one. So the skills that your getting in this program are skills that employers are looking for,” she said.

Those partners include Hilton Hotels and Elvis Presley Enterprises who will then be first in line to interview the graduates.

To enroll in the hospitality training program, contact Southwest Director of Workforce Programs & Partnerships Dr. Glenda Collins at 901-333-4316 or

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.