Heritage University (HU) is receiving a major grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department to promote entrepreneurship and hospitality training in the Yakima Valley. Heritage will partner with the University of Washington to offer training sessions to economic development groups and small businesses. At least 12 sessions will be offered per year over a three-year period.
Heritage’s faculty and business students will train local businesses from across Yakima County on tourism knowledge, etiquette and customer service skills. HU will use the nationally recognized Super Host model created in 1985 to prepare British Columbia’s tourism workforce to host the world at EXPO ’86. Faculty and students will become certified trainers, delivering effective training tools and skills for local businesses.
Sessions will be conducted in both English and Spanish. The objective is to provide local businesses that interact with tourists with an understanding of excellent customer service. The outcome will be increased sales, increased number of jobs and all-season consistency to local business owners in the many small communities of Yakima County.
The Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau will be an active partner in helping to develop the program and getting local businesses to participate.