Keeping our turnstiles turning, our kayaks gliding and our cash registers humming takes more than just creating great experiences. It also takes solid business practices.
How often do we overlook the business skills needed when we talk about jobs in the travel economy? We tend to think first of hospitality and tourism programs as the means to fill our jobs. These are great ways to find qualified employees for certain positions, but marketing, finance, human resources and other business jobs are equally important.
To help encourage business careers as a student choice, MBA Research and the Ohio Department of Education have formed the Ohio Business Coalition for Education and have named OTA’s Melinda Huntley as chair through June 2019. Members of the coalition include the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, The Ohio Council of Retail merchants, Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Ohio Insurance institute, Ohio Grocers Association, Ohio Society of Association Executives, the International Certified Professional Accounts and others who represent businesses who rely on strong business skills.
“Business careers support Ohioans and their families,” said Huntley. “Jobs in management, marketing, human resources, accounting and others keep our companies and small businesses running, and they enable them to grow and hire more Ohioans. We are thrilled to be a part of this effort as we work together to help students discover exciting career paths that will support them for a lifetime.”
Efforts of the Ohio Business Coalition for Education may include creating awareness of career choices, highlighting industries where those with business education can find jobs (such as within the travel economy), identifying and promoting industry certifications that are considered by employers during the hiring process and making sure all of you have a chance to contribute your thoughts and ideas as conversations continue.
Working with the education community is nothing new for the Ohio Travel Association. In addition to conducting a statewide educational needs assessment of the tourism industry through a partnership with OSU, the Ohio Travel Association has conducted focus groups with front line employees, provided input in developing new educational standards for those pursuing jobs in our industry, and met with hospitality and tourism programs across the state to better identify their challenges and opportunities.
The OTA board continues its commitment to make sure the industry has qualified candidates, is able to hire the best candidates for our jobs, provides professional growth opportunities and retains employees.