Huntington Junior College Announces Leisure & Hospitality Certificate

HUNTINGTON, W.Va., Dec. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Students enrolling in the Business Management degree program at Huntington Junior College (HJC) will soon have the ability to focus on the rapidly-growing leisure and hospitality industry.

HJC is in the process of developing courses and hiring faculty to teach a range of classes, including event management, customer service, food and beverage management, and hotel and restaurant sales. Classes are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2023.

“In our conversations with local development authorities and business owners we repeatedly hear that leisure and hospitality jobs are abundant and the need for trained employees is acute,” said Dr. Kiko Suarez, the chief academic officer at HJC. “Students interested in these careers can enroll in the Business Management program in January, take classes to earn the Business Fundamentals certificate, and then focus on leisure and hospitality as courses are available in the Spring.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that nearly a quarter of all new jobs created over the next decade will be in leisure and hospitality. Careers in this industry include those in tourism, hotels, resorts, cruise lines, and restaurants, as well as sports and recreation.

“Hospitality is a unique industry within customer service. The labor market post-pandemic is very competitive with opportunities and growth as hotels recover,” said Mike Shockley, director of sales at Delta Hotels by Marriott in Huntington. “We are consistently looking for the best staff to join our team. Having someone with problem-solving skills, and insight into how the hospitality industry operates and hospitality sales would set them apart from other candidates.”

According to Dr. Suarez, the college is also developing relationships with local employers for externships, or experiential learning opportunities, as well as a job placement program for graduates.

Last month HJC announced that beginning in 2023, new students will earn a certificate in Business Fundamentals after completing the first 37 credits common to all Business Management tracks. They then are able to earn a certificate in a focused area, such as accounting, entrepreneurship, and now leisure and hospitality, before completing their Associate’s Degree.

More information about HJC degrees and programs can be found at

About HJC
Founded in 1936, Huntington Junior College (HJC) is a comprehensive, open-admission private institution that serves students from the West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio tri-state area, as well as globally. The college’s mission is to prepare students for successful employment and lifelong learning. The college is ranked among the top six medical assistant schools and dental schools in West Virginia and has robust substance abuse counseling and business management programs. HJC is owned by SensibleSchool, Inc., a subsidiary of Certell, Inc.

For information contact:

Mara Conklin, (847) 340-6823

Kathy Zoeller, (312) 485-2422