Workplace Classes Benefit Employees & Hospitality Industry

Workplace Classes Benefit Employees & Hospitality Industry

The Literacy Council of Frederick County (LCFC) is partnering with Plamondon Hospitality Partners (PHP) to bring English language classes to hotel associates to benefit their lives both at work and at home.  Associates who work at four Frederick campus hotels attended weekly classes January – March.  They were recently recognized by Plamondon Hospitality Partners for their hard work and dedication in the classes.

Throughout the month of June, LCFC conducted the next session of classes.  Originally intended to be a continuation of the winter sessions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic several adaptations were made.  The classes were conducted online and associates gathered at a single hotel, at various locations within the hotel.  PHP provided laptops, tablets and technical support for the students to participate.  The classes were held in a condensed format with the 12-hour session conducted twice a week over four weeks.

The curriculum was adjusted to meet the needs of the business with the focus on updated cleaning and maintenance processes required by the hotel industry.  LCFC’s Workplace Program Coordinator Kim Brown and instructor Carolann McConaughy worked closely with Leah Knecht, PHP Talent Manager, reviewing multiple guidelines produced by hotel associations and cleaning supply/service providers to create a curriculum emphasizing vocabulary and customer interactions associated with disinfecting and sanitizing hotel properties.  Students practiced simple customer conversations related to frequency of sanitization and items being disinfected to boost consumer confidence that appropriate guidelines were being followed at all PHP properties.

This partnership is the result of recent efforts to expand LCFC’s Workplace Literacy Program in collaboration with employers in Frederick County from the hospitality and restaurant industries to support English language classes at the workplace.  The purpose of the program is to empower limited English language proficient employees to gain sustainable employment, contributing to achieving greater financial stability and impacting the lives of their families.  The program will also help employers identify and retain an educated workforce and reduce turnover, thereby strengthening the entire community. 

Leah Knecht shared her observations about the program’s impact: “The Literacy Council of Frederick County has provided our associates an opportunity to improve their English Workplace Literacy skills, and by doing so it has given them the confidence they needed to interact directly with our guests.  Our associates enjoy their classes and they cannot wait to continue their learning.  They fully embrace our value of education will change our world.”


Leah recently shared this news: “Each of the 12 hotels picks a Shining Star from the past year to celebrate during associate appreciation week, and out of the 12 shining stars, our president, Peter Plamondon, picks one associate to be the Associate of Excellence.  Reni deserves every second of the praise she was given today and the Literacy Council was a huge part in her success.  Thank you so much for all that you do to help our associates improve.  Reni received a certificate, and we also presented her with the note (that she was able to read thanks to class) that a guest gave her requesting items.  The frame is behind her in the picture.  Thank you again for making such a difference in Reni’s life! ”

The development and growth of this program over the past several years is made possible by support from the Community Foundation of Frederick County, Crimsonbridge Foundation, Women’s Giving Circle, Rotary Club of Frederick and the Tourism Reinvestment in Promotion and Product (TRIPP) program.  This spring COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds made it possible for the Literacy Council to transition its tutoring, community class, workplace and parent literacy programs to remote online platforms. For more information on the Workplace Literacy Program contact coordinator Kim Brown,