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Aug 7, 2019 11:04 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays High School Partners With CPI Developers, St. Joseph's College For Hospitality Course

A student from St. Joseph’s College Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Island to Table. BENNY MIGS
Aug 7, 2019 12:07 PM

Call it a recipe in the making, and one local school officials hope will be successful.Hampton Bays School District officials are cooking up a plan for their high school students to get a jump on college degrees and careers in hospitality management by way of a bridge program with St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

In the partnership, the high school’s curriculum and instructor credentials have been approved, making it possible for juniors and seniors who successfully complete the course to receive three college credits.

The program, which was approved by school officials last month, starts in September and will run for half of the year, with students attending the class daily for one period.

School officials are currently conducting a career interest inventory by sending out feelers to parents and students in the hope of filling the class by the start of the school year. As part of the district’s overall career development plan, school officials are hoping to work with local hospitality venues such as the Canoe Place Inn on the possibility of internship and work opportunities.

School Superintendent Lars Clemensen met with representatives from St. Joseph’s College and the Canoe Place Inn on July 11 during an update of the Canoe Place Inn’s construction plans, and it was there that the new course, possibilities for internships and a job pipeline were discussed, he said.

He described the district’s plans as in their infancy, at “step one” with approval of the new course and “very aspirational,” in terms of local business partnerships. “From an educational standpoint, the current goal is for a hospitality and tourism management program,” he said.

“The CPI is developing, and we know that it is moving along at a pretty rapid pace, and I want my Hampton Bays graduates to be ready when there are opportunities to take advantage of,” Mr. Clemensen said.

St. Joseph’s College, which currently has partnerships with other area high schools and has a model for a college credit transfer program, will work with Hampton Bays administrators on a curriculum. The course could be used by students looking to enter the hospitality and tourism field, earn college credits toward the college’s hospitality program or credits in general, or just gain a life skill, according to Mr. Clemensen.

Gail Lamberta, the associate dean in charge of community development at St. Joseph’s College, said the program would run similar to the college’s other bridge programs, in which for $180, students could obtain three college credits which would then be used at St. Joseph’s in its college level hospitality program — or be transferred to most other colleges.

At the college level, students in the hospitality and tourism program are required to take part in internships to gain experience in that field, Ms. Lamberta explained.

St. Joseph’s officials are “pretty excited” about a partnership with the Hampton Bays High School and a possible one with the Canoe Place Inn because it would help foster sustainability in the workforce by creating a pipeline to jobs in the growing $5.9 billion industry of hospitality and tourism on Long Island, she said.

“These are things that work to keep the [jobs] on Long Island,” she said. “The important thing about the pipeline is that it is going to keep young people here.”

The Hampton Bays School District operates similar partnerships with educational institutions such as the State University of New York at Albany, which accepts 12 credits from the high school’s research and science program. There is also a culinary program with Suffolk Community College which grants students 11 credits that are accepted into its own culinary program or can be transferred to other colleges.

The new hospitality management course will be scheduled as not to interfere with that of the school’s current culinary program with Suffolk, allowing students interested in both to explore both programs if they so choose, Mr. Clemensen said. The hospitality management course’s syllabus will have the same components as that of St. Joseph’s College’s course for students in the college level hospitality program, but with a little local flavor added in, he said.

“So, it’s very tailored to the East End and the history of Hampton Bays,” he said.

In conjunction with the new course getting off the ground, district officials are hoping to partner with businesses like the Canoe Place Inn, as well as other restaurants and spas, in setting up job opportunities. In addition to CPI, the district has also generated some interest from a golf course that is looking to work with the district on the job pipeline. Mr. Clemensen declined to identify the golf course.

Developer cousins Gregg Rechler and Mitchell Rechler of R Squared Development, a division of Rechler Equity Partners, are constructing a 350-seat catering facility at the iconic former CPI night spot, which evolved over the years from a speakeasy to a nightclub hosting celebrities like Sean Combs and the Kardashians before it was shuttered.

Once construction is complete, it is expected to be the largest catering facility on the South Fork, as no current facility can seat over 200 people. In hospitality circles, the plan is seen as a vehicle that will further fuel the tourism industry not only in Hampton Bays, which has long been a mecca for nightlife, drawing visitors from all over to its restaurants and bars, but to that of the East End, increasing job opportunities for many in the region.

The venue could work with the school district and St. Joseph’s College to fast-track internships and jobs for students interested in the fields of food and hospitality, Mr. Clemensen said.

In a statement released by public relations firm Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc. Gregg Rechler described the meeting as “a very preliminary discussion with the Hampton Bays School District about creating an educational hospitality program.”

“With the Canoe Place Inn slated to open in the fall of 2020, we are excited by the potential of pairing Hampton Bays students with a career opportunity in hospitality,” the statement continued.

Mr. Clemensen called the Rechlers’ plans a “major investment” in Hampton Bays and “for the betterment of the community.”

“We want our kids, to be able to — when they get out of school — be ready to take opportunities where they can build a life and still afford to live here,” he said.

Part of the curriculum school officials now have in place ensures this and has already seen success, according to Mr. Clemensen.

Culinary students were originally sent to attend classes at Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Riverhead, but a renovation four years ago made way for an in-school culinary lab. “We were able to expand on that,” he said.

About seven students have graduated yearly from the culinary program, some going on to culinary programs at Suffolk County Community College, Johnson and Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts, and the Culinary Institute of America. Between 20 and 30 students have graduated from the program so far.

The culinary program is currently a daily two period class throughout 11th and 12th grade, the last two years of high school. In the program, students train with a chef, and have access to visiting local chefs from restaurants like Cowfish, and the students attend cooking demonstration lessons.

The district is looking to replicate more experiences like that, Mr. Clemensen said. The district’s hope is that if the students in the hospitality and tourism program are being trained in areas like customer service, motivation and high standards of quality, any condo company or resort like CPI, or high-end restaurant and event facility, would want to hire them, he said.

“They are going to say, ‘Hey, we got to look at our Hampton Bays kids because they are going to come with a set of skills that we need,’” he added.

Career tracks start long before 11th and 12th grade in the Hampton Bays School District.

“We think about that every single day, so it starts in kindergarten. Who are the important people in your neighborhood? What jobs do your Mom and Dad have?,” Mr. Clemsensen explained.

In middle school, the district starts moving students toward career and interest inventories, helping them answer questions about what they are good at and what they like, allowing them to explore electives, take jobs, join clubs, participate in internships and job shadows.

“We definitely want kids to have a sense before 11th grade of what they are interested in,” he said, adding that counseling staff works with the students to help them figure out their goals. “It’s their job to really suss that out. The sooner we can know that, the sooner it is we can prevent what is known as drift, in that when kids are in their 20s, we want to prevent them from drifting from job to job to job.”

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This is how you start to revitalize a town!
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Aug 11, 19 12:19 PM
It's sexist to make women cover their heads. Where are #metoo lunatics? Oh, that's right, they don't care if muslims put down women.I guess the course will be halalh.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Aug 11, 19 7:15 PM
Forcing women to wear religious garb is just as bad as prohibiting it.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 11, 19 8:22 PM
Who said anything about prohibiting?
How about choice ?
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Aug 11, 19 9:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Was anyone in the article denied a choice?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 11, 19 10:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
Was anyone prohibited?
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Aug 12, 19 7:19 AM
Not to my knowledge, but maybe you should ask Babyboo since it's Babyboo who talked about "making" women wear religious clothing when the article says nothing like that.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 12, 19 7:52 AM
Clemensen says these jobs will keep workers in the community? How so?

Last time I checked caterers dont haul in large incomes for the workers. How do you afford to live there with million dollar housing?

What is needed are STEM related and manufacturing jobs. These jobs seem targeted to take care of the well heeled elites who need their parties catered and lawns mowed. Its hard paying a mortgage on that income.

Those of us who have left and never returned now have ...more
By Baymen87 (135), Lugoff, SC on Aug 12, 19 9:17 AM
You just answered your own question: you can't find STEM related professions on the East End but the hospitality industry is alive and well.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Aug 12, 19 9:23 AM
Dear Baymen87,

You are right; STEM careers and manufacturing jobs are also needed, especially given that they can provide jobs to sustain a middle class life here. We are also developing partnerships in those areas as well. With the new offshore wind project in development, we know that there will be a manufacturing need to support the supply chain for this massive project. Water quality issues are also a growth industry in this region. Hampton Bays also offers a robotics program, Computer ...more
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 12, 19 10:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Lars Clemensen, you rock!
By Infoseeker (280), Hampton Bays on Aug 12, 19 5:47 PM