Napa Teachers Get Summer ‘Jobs’ via Industry Externships

18 teachers from 13 Napa Valley Schools Became Students Again

Napa Valley Register
Published on August 28, 2018

This summer 18 teachers from 13 schools across Napa Valley became students again — but this time of the hospitality industry.

As part of its Hospitality Industry Partnership, the Workforce Alliance of the North Bay partnered with NapaLearns to sponsor teachers to work in seven Napa Valley hotels.

Those properties included Auberge du Soleil, Embassy Suites, Las Alcobas, Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa Valley Marriott Hotel, Silverado Resort and Spa and Westin Verasa Napa.

Teachers experienced real-world hospitality situations in areas such as culinary and food services, finance, guest services, human resources, and operations, which they will use to inform their teaching practices and classroom projects, said a news release.

These educators worked one-to-three days in a hotel or resort and reported back to the hosting hotels and sponsoring organizations at the end of the externships on how they will incorporate the experiences into their lessons and projects.

High schools, middle schools, and adult education schools participated, including American Canyon Middle and High Schools; Valley Oak, Justin-Siena, Napa High, New Technology High, Vintage High; Silverado, Redwood, River and Harvest middle schools; and Napa Adult Education.

group shot of teachers
Teachers celebrate the conclusion of their hospitality externships
“In general, students and teachers aren’t aware of the scope of the positions and rewarding experiences that are available in the hospitality industry,” said Cheryl Velasquez, director, human resources, Embassy Suites Napa Valley.

“There are many jobs and career pathways in resorts and hotels,” Velasquez said.

“We were very excited to work with educators to help them teach students the many skills required and make them aware of the opportunities available. We see this as an investment in a pipeline of future employees and our local economy.”

“Together with PG&E and Wells Fargo, we were happy to award innovation funds to initiatives like this because it connects the community to the industries in our region,” said Bruce Wilson, executive director at the Workforce Alliance of the North Bay.

“Partnering with NapaLearns to educate teachers about the hospitality industry helps to create a balance between the employment needs of our future job seekers and those of the hotels and resorts here in Napa.”

“We were thrilled to work with the Hospitality Industry Partnership to introduce teachers to the hospitality business so they can incorporate real life, relatable scenarios into their teaching practices,” said Peg Maddocks, executive director of NapaLearns.

“Students love to apply their knowledge to practical situations that give them the skills they need outside of a classroom. As a result of the externships, we expect teachers to develop applicable, hands-on projects based on the knowledge they gain.”

Importance of teacher externships

These hospitality externships were designed to expose teachers to the skills required to be successful in the workplace through direct engagement.

Teachers can then relate those job requirements to their coursework in order to enrich and strengthen their teaching and bring relevance to student learning.