Johnson County Community College

Sustainable Hospitality Internship Program

The Johnson County Community College Hospitality Management program and the Center for Sustainability have co-developed a sustainability hospitality internship option for students in the college’s hospitality management program. Students in the program are required to complete a 360-hour internship in the hospitality industry. JCCC has also partnered with the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association to promote the program to its members.

The internship program’s intent is to integrate sustainable practices into Kansas City Metro restaurant operations. Students are trained in best practices for saving energy and water, reducing waste through recycling and composting programs, using environmentally friendly cleaners and chemicals and reducing supply chain waste and pollution through the use of local product purchases. They then use that knowledge to work with restaurant and hotel managers to identify how the facility could implement the practices.

Participating restaurants also have the option of working with the Sustainable Hospitality intern to pursue an independent, third party sustainability certification program. An example of such a program would be the Green Restaurant Association’s standardized certification program.

Students track the practices after they’ve been implemented to identify how much money is saved through the implementation. This is done with the intent of demonstrating to other restaurants and hotels that sustainable practices are cost-effective.

The program is designed to meet the EnergyWorks KC Green Jobs Workforce goals of establishing a green jobs pipeline for the Kansas City metropolitan area, in this case in the hospitality management field, and of increasing building energy efficiency and water conservation practices in the metropolitan area.

Ten area restaurants and several JCCC students have already expressed interest in the green intern program.

The green internship program got under way during the Spring 2012 semester.

Internship Program Schedule

Term   Internships Restaurants Student Interns
Spring 2012 One EBT Restaurant Yvette Hirang
Fall 2012 One The Farmhouse Rocco Romeo
Spring 2013 Three

Room 39 
(Mission Farms)

Katie O'Conner

The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange Rocco Romeo (transferable skill test)
PotPie Justin Cain
Summer 2013 Two



Pending grant funding extension. Contact Ryan Wing or Chef Aaron Prater if you're interested in potentially completing the program during this semester.


Energy Works logoJohnson County Community College was awarded an EnergyWorks KC Green Jobs Workforce Development grant from the Mid-America Regional Council. The $49,945 grant will primarily be used to pay the student interns and will provide the participating restaurants with up to $2,600 to begin implementing the intern’s recommendations. The funding that is available to participating restaurants is outlined below:

JCCC Hospitality Student Intern Stipend $3,600.00
Student Training Materials $200.00
Third-Party Certification Program Fees $750.00
Energy and/or Water Efficiency Improvement Implementation $2,585.00