DCC to Launch New Hospitality and Tourism Program this Fall

April 8, 2021- As the travel industry moves toward recovery, Dutchess Community College is poised to support the region’s growing demand for trained personnel by launching a new associate degree in hospitality and tourism. Set to begin this fall, the new program is expected to equip students with a strong business foundation, giving graduates great versatility in the job market.

Designated as a top travel destination by Lonely Planet and the National Geographic Traveler, the Hudson Valley is the fastest growing area in New York state, offering one of America’s most vibrant business environments. In 2019, visitor spending in the Hudson Valley region was $4.4 billion. And projections by local business leaders indicate that the tourism and hospitality industry is poised for growth.

According to Dutchess Tourism, Inc. President & CEO Melaine Rottkamp, “No industry has been harder hit by the pandemic than travel and tourism but with more and more people getting vaccinated, travel is going to come roaring back. When it does, it will be crucial that we have qualified employees at our hotels, restaurants and attractions to welcome them and provide excellent experiences.” Rottkamp added, “We are thrilled to work with Dutchess Community College to connect students and graduates with our tourism-related business partners who will need the key skill sets these participants will gain through this new program.”

Designed to prepare students for career paths in restaurant, catering, hotel, travel and tourism management, the curriculum features specialized courses in hospitality and tourism management, hospitality marketing, customer service, and event management. In addition, students will learn marketing, management, business law, and financial accounting and have opportunities for hands-on internship and interactive real-world experiences.

“We believe that by offering students a business-based view of the hospitality and tourism industry, they will be better prepared to make the kind of planning and strategic decisions that is so often called for in this dynamic environment,” said Ellen Gambino, acting president of Dutchess Community College. “Our program trains graduates to be creative problem-solvers and innovators who will continue to raise the standard of service in the region and the industry.”

Local hospitality and tourism leaders are thrilled that the new program will educate the region’s next generation of hospitality and tourism professionals.

Judy D’Alessandro, Hyatt’s area sales director, said, “Finding enough qualified employees to fill open positions has really been challenging. I am excited about this new educational program right here in our community that will teach the type of job skills the hotel industry needs.”

For more information about DCC’s new hospitality and tourism degree, visit the program website at www.sunydutchess.edu/hospitality.