Gemma Vermeeren

Gemma Vermeeren

Hospitality institute helps turn jobs into careers

When Gemma Vermeeren heard about NorQuest College’s Step Up hospitality program in the spring of 2016, she immediately recognized the incredible value she would receive.

Not only because it was a special free offering from NorQuest in an effort to assist the community during an economic downturn, but Vermeeren “thought it would be amazing to find out what career options it would provide me.”

The programming is offered through NorQuest’s Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Hospitality Institute (EOCFHI). Courses include customer service, guest service relations, resume writing, and interview skills. Instruction is of the highest quality and taught by hospitality professionals. The training is quick, affordable, fun, and offered on weekends. Vermeeren and the rest of her classmates appreciated the flexible schedule and finished it in just one month.

Today the 18-year old Vermeeren is employed in the kitchen and food services department of Discovery Place, a senior independent and assisted living residence in Devon, Alberta. 

“I really liked the training the program provided,” says Vermeeren. “It was really helpful to me for getting the hands-on experience I needed. I took those skills and put them directly toward the job I have now.”