The Maine Tourism Association Brings High School Students to the Harraseeket Inn

FREEPORT — On Tuesday, April 11 the Maine Tourism Association and the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport will host approximately 60 students from Morse High School (Bath), Mt. Ararat High School (Topsham), Brunswick High School, and Region 10 Technical High School (Brunswick). 

Students will take a tour of the Inn and have hands-on experiences in the hospitality industry. Activities will include cookie decorating, mock room inspections, a revenue management activity, and sheet folding Olympics. This event is the product of a collaboration between the school districts and the Maine Tourism Association under the auspices of a grant from the Department of Education to increase experiential learning for students, and a grant from Department of Labor to create industry-led workforce initiatives. 

In November of 2022, the MTA was awarded a grant from the Maine Department of Labor with the aim to educate people (ages 16-24) about the variety and wealth of employment and career opportunities in the Tourism & Hospitality Industry. As part of MTA’s efforts to build interest from the upcoming generation of employees, MTA’s Workforce Development team is creating partnerships between Maine schools and tourism businesses, facilitating everything from school presentations to field trips to internships for students with our tourism businesses. 

As part of these efforts, MTA provides an overview of all segments of the industry: Food and Beverage, Lodging, Outdoor Recreation, Arts/Culture, and Attractions, including customer-facing and back office careers. MTA’s Workforce Development Department has 31 school visits scheduled so far in April and May. Moving forward, MTA, along with other partners such as the Retail Association of Maine and the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, will be working together to place students in expanded learning opportunities (also called ELOs) which will include additional field trips and career exploration internships in area businesses.

The Maine Tourism Association is the state’s largest advocate for all tourism-related businesses. Incorporated in 1922, MTA members include lodging, restaurants, camps, campgrounds, retail, outdoor recreation, guides, tour operators, amusements, transportation and cultural and historical attractions. MTA also operates seven State Visitor Information Centers from Kittery to Calais, and annually produces the state’s official travel planner, Maine Invites You.