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Hilton College, Diageo Launch Hospitality Training Program for Houston Veterans

HOUSTON— A program that pairs the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management with Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol, is helping Houston veterans by teaching “Learning Skills for Life.”

“By combining the best of Hilton College and Diageo, we are creating an opportunity to transform the lives of local veterans by teaching them skills to work in the hospitality industry,” said Anna Johnson, MSW, manager of community engagement for Hilton College.

Faculty and staff from the college are instructing participants in the areas of restaurant, banquet and beverage service. Following the four-week program, which began in early July, participants will have certificates in beverage and food handling, and will receive career counseling and networking opportunities.

The U.S. Veterans Office, Goodwill, Career and Recovery Resources, and Houston Launch Pad are assisting in identifying veterans to apply for the program. Once veterans are accepted, there is no charge to participate in the program, which receives additional support from Glazer’s.

“The veterans in our program are coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, and many are in the process of rebuilding their lives after facing significant challenges. Some are currently working in the industry and are looking to develop their careers, while others view this program as a springboard to a new life. No matter what their background, our students never fail to bring an inspirational attitude to class,” said Johnson.

Additionally, participants will be taught life skills, such as managing personal finances, preparing for employment interviews, working in a team environment, and writing resumes and cover letters. Each student also will receive interview apparel from Brooks Brothers clothing store.

The Houston project expands Diageo’s existing “Learning Skills for Life” programs currently in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, South Africa, Scotland, Germany and Ireland.

“Diageo is excited to bring this opportunity-rich program to the Houston market,” said Danielle Robinson, alcohol policy director for the beverage company. “We are honored to have the opportunity to give back to men and women who have served our country.”

Taylor Wiley