Community College of Denver and Hispanic Restaurant Association Partnership Aims to Eliminate Language Barriers in the Hospitality Industry

  • People in the hospitality industry.

Denver, Colo. (April 17, 2023) – The Community College of Denver (CCD) and the Hispanic Restaurant Association have partnered together to create the “Food and Beverage Language Institute” (FBLI). This joint program will deliver language-based training for employees in the hospitality and food and beverage industries in Colorado.  

With more than 60 percent of non-native English speakers working in the food and beverage industry, language and cultural barriers are prevalent. FBLI will help employees bridge these challenges to build leadership and hospitality skills and advance in their careers. The year-long hybrid program consists of four modules: language skill and foundational industry context, industry specifics, employer need, and pillars of leadership.  

“This unique partnership allows CCD to make history with a first-of-its-kind program that directly addresses the needs of Colorado’s vibrant restaurant and hospitality culture while addressing the seminal challenges for these professionals,” said CCD President Marielena P. DeSanctis, Ph.D. “I am thrilled to continue leading the Denver community in eliminating barriers to economic mobility through the power of education.” 

The Hispanic Restaurant Association was founded in 2021, advocating on behalf of Hispanic restauranteurs. Its mission is to drive economic and entrepreneurial activity through a series of networks and programs, including FBLI.  

“The Hispanic Restaurant Association is thrilled to be partnered with the Community College of Denver to launch the Food and Beverage Language Institute,” said John Jaramillo, President of the Hispanic Restaurant Association. “This new platform will be an integral tool in Educating and Elevating a new generation of learners by giving a support system that is practical, career-specific, and allows for educational opportunities down the road previously not known. Not only for them but for their families. We look forward to generational impacts on those in the restaurant community.” 

“The Community College of Denver has offered community ESL classes for more than 15 years, said Selene Nestor, Managing Partner of the Hispanic Restaurant Association. “With this strategic partnership, the FBLI intends to extend the academic expertise of CCD and the extensive roots of the HRA in the hospitality industry to better prepare food and beverage professionals. This program will offer a much-needed path of progression to our hospitality community.” 

CCD has prioritized building connections with Denver’s business community as a primary strategy for addressing access to education. In addition to the Hispanic Restaurant Association, the college has partnered with various local and national organizations to exceed job market demands, including Amazon and Green Flower.  

To learn more about FBLI, visit CCD.edu/fbli. To become an employer partner, please contact Delta Donohue at Delta.Donohue@ccd.edu

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About Community College of Denver 
Community College of Denver (CCD) is a leading point of entry to higher education for the city and county of Denver. CCD provides cost-effective, high-quality college education, along with access and opportunity for non-traditional students, workforce development, training resources for local organizations, and community partnerships. CCD is a federally funded Hispanic Serving and designated Military Friendly Institution. Learn more at ccd.edu

Established in 2021, the Hispanic Restaurant Association advocates on behalf of and educates the Hispanic restauranteur to effectively and efficiently open and operate their restaurant(s). Its vision is to educate and elevate the Hispanic community across a multi-generational spectrum. The HRA has developed a comprehensive set of events, educational tools, media platforms, and a leadership model to begin a national effort in lowering barriers to advancement. Industry and community support of its events is a key component to driving the overall success of the mission and vision of the HRA. For more information, Click here