Stafford Technical Center offers Recreation, Resort, and
Small Business Management
Stafford Technical Center made an announcement last week that
they will be launching a new program this fall called Recreation,
Resort, and Small Business Management. "The focus will be on the
types of careers offered by resorts and recreation businesses.
There will be lots of collaboration with Killington," said Peg
Bolgioni, Outreach Coordinator at Stafford Tech in a recent email.
The program will consist of work co-ops, classroom time and
experiencing local resorts and tourism firsthand, she added.
Cheryl Niedzwiecki will director the new program Recreation,
Resort, and Small Business Management. "The state we live in really
depends on the industry for revenue. If we didn't have that, it
would be a very different state," Niedzwiecki expalins. "We need to
fill those positions that are going to be vacant."
Niedzwiecki previously taught a program called Hospitality and
Entrepreneurship but it has suffered from decreased participation
in recent years. She and the staff at Stafford Tech thought that
introducing a class with a different focus could reinvigorate
"We would like students to do more work co-ops in resorts and
tourism areas within the state so students can get some work
experience, be graded for it, and also potentially be hired by
them," Niedzwiecki says. "In the past, we have had students shadow
Green Mountain College students so they can see what that program
would be like," she continues. Green Mountain College enjoys a
mutually beneficial relationship with Killington Resort and
hopefully students from Stafford Tech will be benefitting soon as
Megan Smith, Commissioner of Tourism for the State of Vermont is
excited for new program offered at Stafford Technical Center.
"They've always had such a great program down there, she said. The
straight hospitality program just didn't seem to draw the interest
from the students, I think adding the new dimensions to it will
make a huge difference and it's going to be a huge draw. It's so
appropriate with all the resorts in our community."
Smith also commented that although Stafford Tech is a pioneer in
offering this kind of education to high school aged students, she
expects other schools to ramp up their offerings. North Country
Career Center in Newport, Vt. will likely be a popular choice due
to increased development at the Burke and Jay areas, she
Lyndon State, Johnson State and of course Green Mountain College
all have established resort management programs but Smith sees the
need for exposure at the high school level. "We have 12 resorts
that have really great career opportunities. We want Vermonters to
stay in Vermont and work in these resorts." The Mountain Times
spoke to Smith while she was at a Mount Snow Ski Vermont media day.
She said "almost all of these PR people here are from other states
because we aren't educating people for this field. The more we can,
the more kids can stay in this state. These are the good paying
jobs. If we can educate these kids in high school, they can go
right into our resorts and continue training."