Chef teaching students to cook in the kitchen at restuarant
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TOWNSHIP OF MONO, Ont.  — Resorts of Ontario, in collaboration with industry leaders, has announced a significant initiative to support the next generation of hospitality professionals. The organization has committed a $3,000 bursary to bolster the Be Our Guest co-op program, emphasizing its dedication to fostering talent and addressing labour shortages within Ontario’s resort industry.

In a speech delivered at a gathering of industry leaders during the 2024 Season Summit conference, Hani Roustom, CEO of Friday Harbour Resort and a Resorts of Ontario board member, expressed gratitude for the collective commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability in Ontario’s resort industry. Recognizing the pivotal role of skilled professionals in shaping guest experiences and business success, Resorts of Ontario re-affirmed its dedication to nurturing talent and supporting educational initiatives.

“The Be Our Guest co-op program will provide high school students with invaluable real-world experience within the industry,” said Roustom. “By investing in this program, we aim to engage a demographic traditionally under-represented in the hospitality sector, while providing essential training and insights into the exciting world of resort operations, hospitality, and tourism.”

Roustom also highlighted additional initiatives, including preparations to welcome high school students for co-op placements within resorts. These efforts demonstrate Resorts of Ontario’s commitment to addressing labour shortages and cultivating talent within the industry. 

The bursary will be awarded in collaboration with the school boards, to graduating high school students who intend to enroll in hospitality-and-tourism programs.

“We applaud Resorts of Ontario for stepping up to support Ontario’s future hospitality workforce through an annual bursary for the Be Our Guest program, which develops a smoother school-to-work transition for tomorrow’s employment,” said Tony Elenis, CEO of ORHMA and OHI-We Are Hospitality.

“This bursary is just one of the many initiatives we’re implementing to support the future of Ontario’s resort industry. By working together and investing in education, we can ensure that our sector remains vibrant and continues to set the standard for hospitality excellence,” said Kerri King, executive director of Resorts of Ontario. 


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