Source: College of the Canyons College of the Canyons has been named “Education Partner of the Year” by Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services (AYE) for providing job training for participants of This Way Ahead – Los Angeles, an internship program that provides young people with work experience and customer service career pathways. The award will be presented to the college at AYE’s 23d annual awards dinner Oct. 5 at the L.A. Hotel Downtown. “We are honored to have been named as Education Partner of the Year,” said Kevin Anthony, chair of the college’s hotel and restaurant management program. “Our priority is to provide students with the necessary skills to become job proficient in employment areas that will foster career development.” Launched last fall, This Way Ahead – Los Angeles was launched by COC and AYE to provide students with the necessary customer service skills that would enable students to deliver exceptional, high-quality customer service in a variety of customer-contact positions. “The key to our program is fostering the student’s growth so they not only learn the skills needed to deliver excellent customer service, but also understand how to create ‘a total customer experience’ that is memorable, high quality and will attract customers to their employer,” Anthony said. With the mentorship and guidance of AYE staff and Gap Inc. store managers, 58 interns were hired in 15 Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores across the Los Angeles Metro Area. Of the 58 interns hired, 37 of them completed customer service training through COC. Many of these interns have been extended offers for ongoing employment within these stores. The relationship between AYE and COC was developed three years ago when AYE partnered with the college’s ETI Customer service training program. To date, the program has had over 300 graduates.