By Joel Hillan

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A hospitality management company has been using an apprenticeship program to help keep and grow talent in a competitive industry.

“We have a tremendous need and ferocious appetite for talent,” said Lynda Campbell.

hotel apprenticeship 5 Apprenticeship Program Trains, Retains Hospitality Managers

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She is the Director of Training and Talent Development for Centennial-based Stonebridge Companies.

She said that the hospitality industry is booming and along with it the need for qualified, capable employees.

“We’ll open five new hotels this year, so just to have the management teams prepared for those new openings let alone our existing properties is a tremendous need.”

hotel apprenticeship 2 Apprenticeship Program Trains, Retains Hospitality Managers

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She has implemented an apprenticeship program within her company created by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation.

“It does give us a competitive edge. It’s something that you can join us and say, ‘Gosh, I can join that program and get promoted in six to nine months.'”

Carly Yamrus successfully went through the two-part program which started in the classroom and ended with her job-shadowing every department in the hotel.

hotel apprenticeship 3 Apprenticeship Program Trains, Retains Hospitality Managers

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“It really completes the picture for you, showing that you are the piece in the puzzle and that you all need to kind of hold hands from a far,” Yamrus told CBS4.

She went from an hourly employee as a supervisor at Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Denver to become the salaried Food and Beverage Manager at the Courtyard Marriot near DIA.

“Being a manager you kind of have to have your hands in everything.”

hotel apprenticeship 4 Apprenticeship Program Trains, Retains Hospitality Managers

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She hopes others will take advantage of the program as well.

“Education’s always a great thing and especially if it’s free to you to do, I would jump on it, for sure.”

Campbell says the apprenticeship program is just getting started. In October another 10 to14 apprentices will start their training.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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