Sandy Bay Ready To Work Group, April 2012
The twenty participants of the 32-week Ready to Work program hosted by the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC). Creating careers in the hospitality sector is what it's all about.
Claudia Baptiste describes herself with one word: Driven. "As a mom," she says, "I knew I wanted a career, not just a job."
She was looking for a way to start a career in 2006 and found a newspaper ad for the STEC Ready to Work program in North Battleford. The program prepares people with little or no work experience to enter the hospitality industry.
"I knew there was a new hotel being built in North Battleford," she says, " and I just put two and two together."
Baptiste did end up working at the new Gold Eagle Lodge and within a year became manager of her department there. She followed through with several more of the STEC hospitality training programs including the Service Best component.
She recently moved on to her current position as front office manager at the Saskatoon Travelodge. As she did in her time at the Gold Eagle Lodge, Baptiste is keeping the circle with STEC going. "I'm setting goals for this property, too," she says. "I have developed an apprenticieship program and we are getting STEC training for staff. I want to have the Travelodge be Employer of Choice certified by STEC, too."
It all started with the Ready to Work program. In fewer than six years, Baptiste has realized her career aspiration. And maybe even more. "The Ready to Work program gave me the tools I needed," she says. "I see myself now as a role model."