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With the approval of a commercial casino license to Montreign, two of Sullivan County’s major employer organizations, the Sullivan County Visitors Association and the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, have been awarded a State University of New York Community College Workforce Development Grant that will bring Disney Institute training to the county.
The grant, which was coordinated by and will be administered by SUNY Sullivan, totals $52,459, and will be used to support the reemergence of Sullivan County as a tourist destination by underwriting a well-known and transformational professional development program through the Disney Institute of Orlando, Florida.
The objective of the program is to bring the highest level of customer service excellence to Sullivan County’s tourism, hospitality and retail industries, and to the numerous employees who support these industries, and will provide a “re-branding” of Sullivan County by enhancing the knowledge, skills and abilities of the associations’ members.
On Dec. 17, the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board announced that Montreign Resort Casino, the casino planned at the Concord site, will be awarded a Casino Gaming License.
According to the state, these facilities are designed to boost tourism and economic development in communities across the region. Empire Resorts plans to employ more than 1,200 people at its new casino.
The Disney Institute utilizes an engagement model to ensure successful professional development, which focuses on understanding and prioritizing an organization’s needs; adapting and applying Disney’s best practices; reorienting and “up-skilling” the team; and operationalizing and sustaining these best practices for ongoing success.
The grant provides for employees of the Chamber and the Visitors Association to attend training at the Disney Institute in Florida, as well as for the Disney Institute to travel to Sullivan County to provide training for up to 150 Sullivan County business owners, managers and staff members, which is targeted for this spring.
“The Chamber, the Visitors Association and SUNY Sullivan all support the Think Positive Sullivan campaign, a campaign responsible for triggering a recognition that our collective attitude is one that we can shape together,” said Dr. Karin Hilgersom, President of SUNY Sullivan. “The Disney Training will magnify the positive results of Think Positive Sullivan. This quote by Walt Disney epitomizes what the Disney Training strives for: ‘Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.’”
The Disney Institute Training has successfully rebranded several organizations across the United States, including the Haagen-Dazs Corporation, the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, the Massachusetts General Medical Group, and Miami International Airport, and has been used by a number of international organizations as well.
Originally published in Sullivan County Business Edge: Winter 2014.