Bridging the Gap: ICAN Safe Workforce Meeting Industry Needs

When the Coronavirus began spreading across the county, the R·H·T team asked what retail, hospitality and tourism employees would need when businesses began to reopen. How could community colleges help the work force better meet industry needs and standards in post-COVID-19 world?

In meetings with R·H·T industry partners it quickly became clear that cleaning and sanitizing procedures would be key to helping stop the spread of the virus and instilling consumer confidence in hotels and restaurants as they began to reopen.

Statewide Director, Health, John Cordova and Statewide Director, Retail Hospitality Tourism (R·H·T), Joy Hermsen have created a joint training project to educate California workers in combating the spread of infectious disease. 

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) routinely share guidance through their websites, there is currently no centralized, industry-approved training tool to provide non-health workers with this crucial information.

There is a clear and overwhelming value to the state and to the public in an educated workforce, knowledgeable about infection control practices with sector-specific guidance. By encouraging employees to complete the training, employers will be able to clearly communicate their commitment to safe workplaces for both employees and customers.

The two-hour free training will be available on mobile devices and includes a brief exam. Those who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate of completion as well as a digital badge. The training will conclude with information and outreach about relevant California Community College course offerings around training and up-skilling.

The first phase of the project, targeted for release in early June, will be focused on hospitality and tourism workers and was developed with input from the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA) and the Educational Foundation of the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA). Hermsen and Cordova are also seeking additional funding with the goal of expanding this training to all industry sectors to reach as many California workers as possible. For more information, contact Joy Hermsen.

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