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Culinary students show their talents at JobReady meeting

Parkwood High School Foods II Enterprise and ProStart student Casey Helms, at right, serves desserts during a recent Union County JobReady Partnership meeting. (Below) Parkwood student Kelly Bass prepares to serve truffles to JobReady Partnership members.

Two Parkwood High School culinary students recently got some hands-on experience during a recent Union County JobReady Partnership meeting – a meeting that highlighted high school programs that impact the workforce.

The students, Casey Helms and Kelly Bass, are in Karen Rowe’s Foods II Enterprise and ProStart I classes at Parkwood High School. Students served desserts prepared by Rowe’s classes to the JobReady partners and presented information about their studies.

“The purpose of attending the meeting was to promote Family and Consumer Science courses taught,” Rowe said.

Foods II Enterprise focuses on food preparation techniques while applying nutrition, food science, and test kitchen concepts using new technology. It is designed to assist students in skill integration with core high school courses and in lifetime experiences.

A live project is incorporated into the course to give students an authentic experience in the food service industry and to assist with career planning and exploration. “It is our goal that students gain skills that will prepare them to be better decision-makers, citizens and workers,” Rowe said.

The ProStart I program teaches high school students the management and culinary skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Throughout a two-year period, they study in the classroom, participate in mentored work experiences, and test their skill in local and national competitions.

The career-building program was developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and is supported by partnerships with state restaurant associations across the United States.

It is designed to increase and strengthen industry involvement in high school classrooms, set the standard for restaurant and foodservice career education, improve the image of restaurant and foodservice management as a career, and recruit and train students to become the next industry leaders.

Developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, ProStart teaches high school students the management and culinary skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Such skills allow Union County students to leave high school and go into the workforce with a credential in the foods industry or to further pursue training in the field.

Casey has been accepted to Johnson and Wales and plans to study Culinary Arts and Foodservice Management. Kelly has been accepted to The International Culinary School at The Art Institute and plans to study Baking and Pastry.

Both students attributed their choice to pursue a Foodservice Industry career to Parkwood’s foods programs.

Union County JobReady Partnership, formed in 1997, builds partnerships between students, employers, parents and the community. Its main goal is to create stronger links between the business community and education.

Written by: Karen Rowe, ProStart teacher at Parkwood High and JobReady Job Broker Linda Smith
Posted: Feb 01, 2013 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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