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Hospitality training for workers throughout the Blue Ridge

Va's Blue Ridge teams up with Virginia Western Community College for training

ROANOKE – Employees from all types of businesses, restaurants and companies across the Blue Ridge are taking part in a new hospitality training.

Thursday marked the first of a series of the sessions, slated to last through the next year. It's part of a growing effort to get more than 8,000 hospitality workers throughout the Blue Ridge region trained.

There's a major focus on customer service training, something that can apply to nearly every business and employee throughout the region.

"When you think of tourism, you naturally think of hotels and maybe restaurants," said Catherine Fox, with Virginia's Blue Ridge. "But do you think of Black Dog Salvage as part of that? Do you think of the airport as part of that? These are people that are here today to learn about this."

Visit Virgina's Blue Ridge is teaming up with Virginia Western Community College to develop the workshop curriculum and resources.

"What does it mean to represent yourself, what does it mean to represent your organization and what impact does it have to represent a region," says Milan Hayward, the Vice President of Workforce Development Services at VWCC.

The next hospitality training session is scheduled for June 7, followed by one on June 22.