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Hospitality scholarships help propel students into the workforce

Wednesday, June 20, 2018  
Posted by: Kathleen Pierce
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CAMDEN, Maine — On June 11, the Maine Innkeepers Association held its 34th annual scholarship dinner at 16 Bay View. A dozen students from across the state received awards and financial compensation to pursue a career in hospitality. 


Since its inception, the association’s education foundation has granted more than $208,500 to 300 students, many studying the industry in college or working their way up to full time careers. 


This year $9,250 was awarded to the next generation of food and lodging professionals. To underscore that hospitality jobs are “a serious career path,” not an entry level dead ends, Steve Hewins, CEO of the Maine Innkeepers and Restaurant Associations applauded those gathered for “taking courses and programs to develop their skills.”


Keynote speaker Sean Riley, CEO of Freeport-based Maine Course Hospitality Group, Inc. encouraged awardees to “find your why,” as they achieve a life in hospitality.


“We don’t hire managers, we hire leaders,” he told the room of 60 attendees, while stressing that to succeed in hospitality one needs integrity, respect and the ability to have fun. 


By funding the next generation of innkeepers and restaurateurs, the association is doing its part to stem the worker shortage in Maine. “We are proud to assist these future hospitality leaders with their education. This is just one of many efforts we are engaged in to help alleviate the labor shortage," said Greg Dugal, the association’s government affairs officer.