Lyndon State College President Joe Bertolino and Q Burke Mountain Resort President and CEO Ary Quiros signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the LSC campus November 6. This MOU establishes the intent to enter into a “collaborative relationship” regarding the courses, programs of instruction, and experiential learning opportunities to be “delivered or sponsored” by LSC that “appropriately address the learning objectives and work force development needs” of Q Burke. The formal relationship begins upon signing and is a renewable one year commitment.
LSC and Burke Mountain have had an informal and mutually beneficial relationship for decades. LSC students are hired by Burke as interns and Burke dedicates time and resources to developing these students through real world work situations. These internships have been available to a limited number of degree programs. Now, these internships can now expand into “cross-campus initiatives” that will provide courses to teach skills that the Q Burke positions require. Quiros said, “I see Burke Mountain as Lyndon State’s classroom.”
With the projected growth and expansion of Q Burke into a robust four season resort, this formal agreement addresses increased workforce development needs. This may include but is not limited to “developing additional experiential learning opportunities in more disciplines,” developing adult education programs, certification, and other training possibilities, designing and implementing skills trainings for incumbent workers and new hires, and maximizing the capacity of existing program such as the college’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. Bertolino said, “Our students and faculty have a broad range of expertise, knowledge and skills that can contribute to growing both large and small area businesses.”
The purpose of the MOU is to provide Q Burke the greatest opportunity to meet their training requirements as well as have an available pool of qualified workers. The intent is to promote standardization and better involve students in Q Burke’s operations. By expanding the internships across more programs, LSC can provide more students with the practical experience desired and demanded by today’s business environment. For example, Music Business and Industry students can help with the concerts planned at the mountain during the season. Visual Arts students could draw up print and web-based marketing strategies while English majors provided the content. Business Administration and Accounting students could assist in analyzing business performance and lend assistance in research and systems development.