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SUNY Grant to Fund Pilot Hospitality/Tourism Program

May 13, 2019

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) will utilize an $8,991 grant from the State University of New York (SUNY) to create a pre-employment training program in partnership with LEGOLAND® New York Resort. The program will be presented to a selection of LEGOLAND New York’s existing employees this summer with the intent of expanding it as the park ramps up hiring in advance of its Grand Opening in spring 2020.

The Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Industry Professional Training Program will emphasize service excellence and communication best practices specific to the leisure and hospitality industry. Program participants will learn the foundational elements of hospitality service so they are able to effectively assess and serve the needs of customers and guests in a variety of situations.

The initial industry-specific pilot program will be offered this summer through the College’s Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) department. LEGOLAND New York Resort, in Goshen, will be a family theme park featuring more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. It will employ more than 1,000 people in positions ranging from front line staff to area leads, supervisors, managers and directors.

“We’re excited to partner with SUNY Orange on this important initiative,” said LEGOLAND New York Human Resources Director Susan Eisma. “In this program, students will learn valuable skills which will not only prepare them to be Model Citizens at LEGOLAND New York, but set them up for successful careers in the rapidly growing leisure and hospitality industries right here in the Hudson Valley.”

“This partnership between LEGOLAND and the College makes great sense for many reasons. It addresses a need for LEGOLAND, it falls squarely within the College’s strength as a provider of targeted workforce training, and it meets existing economic development objectives in the Mid-Hudson Valley,” explained Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president, who added that she anticipates this program will serve as the foundation of a long-term relationship with LEGOLAND.

“The beauty of this program is that it can be scaled to provide LEGOLAND with a sizable pipeline of skilled workers now and well into the future, but it can also be tailored to other regional leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses as a way to improve their employee performances and guest experiences, thus strengthening the entire industry in this region,” Young said. “I appreciate LEGOLAND’s confidence in the College, and I thank SUNY for recognizing the potential in this project and providing the necessary seed money for us to get started. Additionally, I’m grateful for the ongoing support and encouragement of the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees.”

“SUNY Orange and LEGOLAND New York will both benefit from this grant and collaboration. This training opportunity will help prepare LEGOLAND’s employees as the theme park approaches its much anticipated opening next year,” said Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus. “LEGOLAND will be a transformative economic development project for the region and will foster meaningful partnerships such as this one with the College.”

LEGOLAND will complement SUNY’s grant with an additional $2,498 contribution, bringing the total program funding to $11,489.

For more information about careers at LEGOLAND New York Resort, visit www.LEGOLAND.com/new-york/jobs. To learn about the College’s non-credit workforce training and education programming, visit www.sunyorange.edu/ce or call (845) 341-4890.

About Merlin Entertainments plc
Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe's number one and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates more than 120 attractions, 18 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries and across 4 continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to 67 million guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its 28,000 employees (peak season).

See Merlin Backstage (www.merlinentertainments.biz/backstage or www.facebook.com/merlinbackstage) or visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.

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