Tourism Workforce Summit Set for March 10-11

Gulf Coast hospitality and tourism industry leaders will discuss ways to increase and train the area’s workforce during the University of South Alabama’s 4th Annual Hospitality and Tourism Workforce Summit, to be held March 10 and 11.

The event will happen at the Hospitality Resort Management Center, located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) Jefferson Davis campus, in Gulfport.

“We are extremely excited about this year’s event, because it is the first time we are taking the summit out of the state,” said Evelyn Green, director of the USA Hospitality and Tourism Workforce Innovation Alliance. “This event is a great way for our stakeholders to network, share knowledge and collaborate across state lines to help develop a regional talent pool for our industry.”

This year’s theme is “Through the Looking Glass: A Futuristic Outlook on Hospitality and Tourism Workforce.” More than 200 hospitality executives and professionals are expected, which includes Serving Southern Hospitality: A Customer Service Excellence certification through USA; an opening keynote address by Laura Lee, senior vice president of human resources for MGC Resorts International, Las Vegas; a closing keynote address by Ben Koff, president and owner of Hidden Upside, Las Vegas, and various panel and breakout sessions.

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Session topics include:

  • Hospitality and Tourism Trends, Future Outlook and Workforce Needs for the Gulf Coast Region
  • Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Hospitality’s 3S: Service, Security and SurveillanceFuture Workforce Outlook: A Regional SWOT Analysis
  • In addition, industry chefs will work with culinary students from Mississippi and

Alabama coastal high schools and community colleges to mentor and showcase future culinary talents. The summit culinary showcase will feature students from Baker High School, Biloxi High School, Bishop State Community College, Coastal Alabama Community College, College and Career Technical Institute for the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, Daphne High School, George County High School, Gulfport High School, Long Beach High School, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Ocean Springs High School, St. Martin High School and Stone High School.

The workforce summit is organized by the USA Hospitality and Tourism Workforce Innovation Alliance, a unit of the USA Office of Research and Economic Development, supported by the College of Education and Professional Studies. MGCCC, an educational partner for USA’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program and Pathway USA, will co-host the event.

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