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Updated: May 28, 2020

264 Maine workers earn COVID Readiness Badges in first week

Since last week’s launch of a free COVID-19 safety training course, 264 hospitality workers in Maine have earned a "micro-credential" from Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.

EMCC partnered with industry association HospitalityMaine to provide a COVID Readiness Badge to restaurants and food service professionals throughout Maine. 

The course is designed to help restaurant owners and their employees master a four-page checklist of new guidelines and mandatory practices, issued by the state Department of Economic and Community Development in order for eateries to reopen. A similar free course will soon be available for hotels and inns.

The course can be taken any time by anyone who would like to be certified. Upon completion, individuals can display the digital badge on their resumes, social media profiles and email signatures, and restaurants can print and display it on-site.

The checklist details many aspects of reopening such as foundational hygiene, new physical layout and workflow, and handling and documenting difficult situations, according to a news release.

The HospitalityMaine COVID-19 Readiness Badge is a collaborative effort among HospitalityMaine, the Maine Community College System and Eastern Maine Community College. Maine Quality Centers funded the project.

HospitalityMaine, based in Augusta, represents more than 1,000 members in the restaurant and lodging industries.

“We were excited to work on this project; creating a training tool based in best practices and demonstrating the commitment by local restaurants to the safety of their patrons,” Christopher Winstead, director of workforce development at Eastern Maine Community College, said in the release.

The badge pathway is available on the HospitalityMaine website.

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