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STHM Among partners of PHL Welcomes U! to enhance customer service


Temple University's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) on July 9 joined in announcing major hospitality initiative PHL Welcomes U!, a free, online educational program to enhance customer service skills across Philadelphia.

Delivered by the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and accessible via www.PHLwelcomesU.com, the program guides participants through real-world situations. Skills learned throughout each of six video modules are tested through short quizzes, allowing participants to earn the Certified Hospitality Professional designation after completing the program. Topics include active listening and communication skills, connecting with guests and neighbors, and embracing, managing and celebrating diversity.

STHM sponsored the diversity module, titled We the People, and Assistant Professor Debra Blair collaborated with the writers, producers and actor on delivering key messages. Blair is an expert in diversity education management and inclusion.

"The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management is extremely supportive of this program and what it offers to Philadelphia's hospitality industry," said STHM Associate Dean Elizabeth H. Barber, a PHLCVB executive board member. "The program supports the work we do and encourages participants to increase their marketable skills in preparation for employment within the hospitality industry."

Although conceptualized within the travel and tourism industry, the PHL Welcomes U! curriculum aims to create PHL ambassadors across a variety of industry segments, including retail, education and transportation. Officials said the experience gained through the courses would improve customer service skills and build confidence when interacting with the public.

Several prominent organizations are sponsoring the program and have already begun offering it to employees or students, including the City of Philadelphia's Department of Parks and Recreation, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) and Philadelphia Academies Inc., which will work with partner Philadelphia high schools to participate in the course.

Susan Slawson, deputy commissioner of parks and recreation, said the department would help make the program available to the public at recreation centers and libraries throughout the city as a resource for job seekers.

"We are known as the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, and this program is a true testament to our efforts in making Philadelphia a world-class destination to live, work and visit," said PHLCVB President and CEO Jack Ferguson. - Brandon Lausch

The School of Tourism is affiliated with:
The Fox School of Business

School of Tourism & Hospitality Management
1810 N. 13th Street, Speakman Hall 111 (006-68)
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 215.204.8701 | Fax: 215.204.8705
Email: sthm@temple.edu

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