|By Kyle Stock, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Oct. 25, 2004 - HUD GRANT PROGRAM TO TRAIN WORKERS FOR HOTEL INDUSTRY: Uncle Sam is footing the bill to help some North Charleston residents break into the hotel industry.
The local Department of Housing & Urban Development office announced last week that it has allocated some grant money for a program comprising 50 hours of class time at Trident Technical College and 50 hours of on-the-job training arranged by the Greater Charleston Hotel/Motel Association.
"This is a win-win program," said Tripp Hays, president of the association and director of sales and marketing at the Mills House Hotel. "Not only does it provide jobs in an industry that always is seeking new employees, but it helps local residents obtain gainful employment."
TTC currently has 15 people in the program. HUD is paying $900 per student, part of which goes to TTC and part of which goes to each student as compensation for the on-the-job training.
Entry-level hotel workers in the Lowcountry earn between $7 and $8 an hour, according to a 2002 survey by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
BAGGAGE UNCLAIMED: The federal Transportation Security Administration is picking up the tab on baggage that has been lost, damaged or stolen in U.S. airports during the past 18 months. About 15,000 travelers will get an average of $110 each from the agency.
TSA blamed airline employees for most of the incidents, but the feds never had any success getting the charges to stick.
About 38 percent of people claiming damages will be paid in full, according to TSA. About 33 percent will be paid for half of what they claimed as lost, and 12 percent will get less than half. Some 2,500 folks won't see a cent because TSA said their bags contained prohibited items.
OFF TO THE DESERT: Santa Fe, N.M., aced Charleston out of its No. 3 spot on an annual list of the most popular destinations in Conde Nast Traveler magazine It is the city's 12th consecutive year in the top 10.
MORE DESERT: Planning the Globe, the Mount Pleasant-based meeting company, just inked a deal for a 1,000 person conference. The only problem for Charleston's tourism community is the meeting is in Tucson, Ariz.
The powwow is Inc. magazine's 23rd annual conference. It is a major coup and a sizable chunk of business for Planning the Globe.
A CHARMING SPA: Charming Inns Inc. is officially opening its spa tomorrow at Wentworth Mansion (although it's been taking clients for a few days on the hush, so to speak). The company spent some $150,000 on the project, converting the inn's former horse stable into treatment rooms. Urban Nirvana is leasing the space from Charming Inns.
Kyle Stock can be reached at 937-5763 or at email@example.com.
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