Training for tourism jobs to meet local demand

Columbia Basin Trust supports Revelstoke’s Okanagan College campus with high-tech learning lab.

With $40,000 funding from Columbia Basin Trust, the Okanagan College campus in Revelstoke will establish a high-tech learning lab as part of a new two-year Tourism Management Diploma to help address workforce needs of local tourism-based businesses. Photo: Columbia Basin Trust.

Okanagan College Revelstoke’s newly launched Tourism Management Diploma program is receiving $40,000 in support from the Columbia Basin Trust for a virtual classroom.

Revelstoke’s world class skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking and hiking attracts visitors from across the globe, making tourism an important part of the community’s economic health. The two-year tourism management program will help support this industry and people seeking careers in it.

“This mobile lab is part of a new program that will help address the shortage of trained staff in the tourism industry, a sector that we heard is a priority for Revelstoke,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Columbia Basin Trust Director, Delivery of Benefits. “Kudos to the College for creating an innovative, collaborative learning environment that will provide access to training locally to help meet the workforce needs of local tourism-based businesses while supporting the economic well-being of the community as a whole.”

In a statement, the trust said funding will go toward setting up a high-tech lab equipped with digital equipment that will enable students to access blended-learning resources like online content and videoconferencing. Instruction will be flexible and up-to-date, will draw from the best resources and instructors, and will better represent today’s technology-based work environment.

The lab will also be mobile, meaning it can be set up at off-campus locations to meet a variety of training needs. Students will be able to learn at different job sites, while employers and community organizations will be able to receive on-site training customized to their needs.

“Launching this full-time program in Revelstoke will answer significant industry demand for managers in the tourism and hospitality industries,” said Joan Ragsdale, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for Shuswap Revelstoke. “Together with a donation from the Revelstoke Credit Union, the Trust’s contribution has made this mobile lab possible.”

Launching in fall 2019, the program will allow students to attend school in the tourism sector’s shoulder seasons and build work experience during the busier winter and summer months.