News Release

Customer service training program

Southeastern Extended Studies offers training courses

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


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GETTING CUSTOMER SERVICE SAVVY – From left, Anand Patel of Hampton Inn and Continental Kennel Club employees Troy Nall, Cathy Samford and Courtney Williams participate in the second career enrichment program, focusing on customer service, offered through Southeastern’s Division of Extended Studies as part of a U.S. Department of Labor grant.

     HAMMOND – Applications for free employee training in the fields of customer service, sales and safety and loss prevention are being accepted by Southeastern Louisiana University’s Division of Extended Studies.
     Assistant Vice President of Extended Studies Joan Gunter said the career enhancement training is offered at no charge for area businesses in Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes through a $190,000 U.S. Department of Labor grant to the division and the Southeast Louisiana Business Center.
     “This grant is providing an opportunity to promote the value of training and professional development for a number of businesses and individuals who are unemployed or under employed,” Gunter said. Already two sessions have been provided for area businesses.
     In its latest program, Extended Studies Project Manager Charlotte Collins said while participants earned Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) from Southeastern, the university also partnered with the Northshore Technical College and instructor Jo Ellen Carruth to offer the opportunity for each student to obtain the National Retail Federation Certificate upon completion of the course. 
     Companies that participated in the 15-hour customer service program included Continental Kennel Club, Hampton Inn, Primerica Financial Services and Staybridge Suites. “This training brings value to our organization because it confirms our customer service philosophy to our team,” said Mike Swaim, the general manager of the Continental Kennel Club, who attended the session with eight members of his customer service team. “More importantly, it equips our team with the tools that are necessary to make customer service ideas become a reality for our company.” 
     Will Clark of Triumph Investments said he decided to send employees from two of his hotels to the training because customer service remains their number one goal.
     “This program is part of our continuous training effort. It will allow us to continue to separate our hotels from our competitors,” Clark said. “We are grateful Southeastern has provided this opportunity to our employees.”
     For more information or to register for a Career Enrichment Program, contact Collins at 1-800-256-2771, or through email at

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