The Tools for a Career in Hotel Maintenance

Posted 02-11-15 by In Hospitality Talent,Our Graduates

Think about what it takes to keep your home running; the plumbing, the electrical, the painting, the roofing….

Then, just try to imagine what it takes to keep a hotel’s infrastructure humming. It’s a mind-boggling to think of all of the parts of a hotel, from the remote control to the furnace, that require expertise.  A scan through a site like Trip Advisor reveals comments that point to the importance of maintenance for hotels:

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Based on industry demand , HWTC recently started offering a hotel general maintenance course to people who want to work in Hospitality, and for those who work in the industry and want to transition to a new role and department.

Last week I visited 10 hotel general maintenance trainees who were busily painting, caulking, drywalling and fixing everything in site at The Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites .

 

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Emilia applying her caulking skills

These 10 participants were selected from well over 100 people because they had the natural aptitude (“handiness”) and an attitude and aptitude that made them well-suited to Hospitality work.

Jamie, a course participant, had a long career in building security when a job opportunity fell through and he suddenly found himself out of work and unsure where to turn. Jamie put his natural handy skills to work volunteering at his co-op housing building, doing minor repairs for tenants and landscaping in the building.  In fact, prior to leaving security he recognized that handy-work was “his thing” and thought he might like to transition to a maintenance role. The truth is, he just wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Our training program fit the bill and Jamie jumped at the chance.

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Jamie applying vinyl wallpaper

The program has turned out to be invaluable:

“The training was great because it took what I already knew, intuitively, and made these skills stronger so that I understood the proper way to do things.”

One aspect of the course that Jamie really liked was the on the job trouble-shooting he learned working in on site in hotel rooms. He recalls one experience when, no matter what he did, he just couldn’t get a room’s vinyl wallpaper to lay flat. The instructor patiently taught him to heat the wallpaper with a hair dryer to make it more pliant. When recalling the incident Jamie has a big grin:

“That situation didn’t just teach me about vinyl wallpaper. What I really learned was how to be on my toes and solve whatever comes up. It was a great lesson in problem solving that I’ll take with me for sure.”

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Jamie Painting 

Kevin Porter, General Manager at  Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites was happy to hosting the training, saying: “Just having these driven trainees in our hotel has upped the morale.” He noted that one of the benefits of the maintenance training program is that it gives participants an opportunity to learn how to “do things the right way, once” and that learning is invaluable throughout one’s Hospitality career.

After doing his placement at the Sheraton Hotel, Jamie was hired for a 3 month contract position at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites. When I asked him about the position Jamie said, “I’m really happy. I just feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

To read more about our Maintenance Training Course, Download our Maintenance Case Study Case Study Maintenance

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