College trains refugees in hospitality trade

Featuring classroom training, visits to local hotels, and internship experiences, refugees in New York state are learning the hospitality trade through Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Based out of Catholic Charities of Buffalo’s Immigration and Refugee Assistance Program, three groups have graduated from the program so far, a total of 40 students.

“The goal is to help refugees feel more confident in their workplace skills and get them trained in some things they may not have been exposed to in the past,” said Deborah Curtis, director of the Center for Events and Management Development at Niagara University.

Curtis teaches the hospitality side of the eight-week program, which is geared toward those who are just learning English. There is a language segment to the program, as well.

“I’ve had people in my class that have been in the United States for nine days and others have been here a little over a year,” Curtis said.

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