Nashville tourism brings in nearly $6 billion every year, but filling the hotels, restaurants and event venues with qualified help is a growing need. Lipscomb University says their new hospitality program will be part of the solution.
"Now is the right time to start this because there’s a great need in the hospitality industry in Nashville. There’s also a national need for it. If you look at the labor statistics for the next 10 years, a lot of areas that are encompassed in hospitality have really great growth rates," said Mike Fernandez, the dean of the College of Entertainment and the Arts at Lipscomb University.
Fernandez says the program blends entertainment and business, event planning and tourism studies.
"So we will have undergraduate degrees, we will have some graduate degrees and certificates," he said.
Rachel Blue is a student and a Nashville native. She says she can't wait to take her talents to Music City.
"Been in classes for marketing and management, food, cooking classes, design classes, event planning classes," she said.
"So for us to speak into that is really exciting," said Fernandez. "To say 'what are the things that Gaylord is doing, what are the things that Disney is doing by mixing hotel management, food and beverage, tourism, entertainment -- how do we weave all that together in an exciting way and provide jobs for the future.'"