Orlando – A new report from the University of Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management (RCHM) demonstrates the economic value of its programs to the local economy. The report estimated the economic impact of Rosen graduates on the central Florida economy to be $531 million between 2000 and 2012. More than 5,000 students earned degrees during that time.
The study was unique in its additional estimate of the economic value of internships, a prized labor source for the local convention and hospitality markets. In 2012, 2,676 RCHM students generated an estimated $17.2 million in economic contributions to the region’s hospitality and tourism industries with an average of 25 hours of paid work each week. Estimated wages for the study were based on the median annual earnings for industry positions of $50,000.
Nearly half of Rosen College students are event management majors who are required to do three semester-long paid internships in the industry as part of their program. In 2012, these event management students alone generated $7.2 million in economic impact. Before 2012, internships were not included in the economic reports.
The benefit of internships is a two-way street. The school encourages industry employers to recruit for industry career positions and post job openings, and assists in setting up interviews. As a result, many students remain in the region after graduation.
Kathie Canning, executive director of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, said the center has hired Rosen College interns for more than a decade in sales, marketing, event management and business administration capacities. “Most of the students work full or part-time in the industry and they are flagged as excellent candidates for employment or internships,” she said.
Other industry employers who have hired students from Rosen are Freeman, Shepard Exposition Services, Global Experience Specialists (GES), Edlen Electrical and Trade Show Supply.
Canning added that several OCCC managers are also adjunct professors at Rosen College and “ardent supporters of the Hospitality Management program.”
Reach Kathie Canning at (407) 685-9800 or Kathie.firstname.lastname@example.org