New certification guidelines will give Hospitality and Tourism students an edge

Hospitality and Tourism students will be required by the North Carolina Department of Insurance to be certified in crowd management before volunteering at the annual Mountain Heritage Day festival.

Volunteering at Mountain Heritage Day has been a requirement for Dr. Carroll Brown’s Festival and Special Event Management students as a service learning assignment since 2004. Unlike past years, the students are now required to take an online Crowd Manager Training course. New state regulations state that volunteers at events with more than 1,000 attendees must be certified in crowd management.

The organizers of the Mountain Heritage Center said that 50 of the volunteers and workers need to be certified. Brown volunteered her students for the certification to help meet the quota.

“I think this certification will give my students a leg up once they enter the workforce. It is a real certification, and certifications are a good thing,” said Brown.

Mountain Heritage Day is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. The festival is Saturday, Sept. 27, at the WCU intra-mural fields, and will feature live music and dance, Heritage Craft demonstrations, festival food and more. Admission and parking are free. Student jobs will include working at the booths and helping with parking.