by Alana J. Mauger
Montgomery County Community College will host a ceremonial ground breaking for its brand new Culinary Arts Institute, located at the Towamencin Town Square complex, on Friday, March 23.
“The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College is just one example of the many high demand programs and certifications the College offers as part of our commitment to enhance workforce development opportunities and to promote the economic advancement of the County,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president.
Slated to open its doors in 2013, the Institute is positioned to be the premiere training resource for future culinary and pastry arts professional in this growing industry. The National Restaurant Association anticipates significant industry growth through 2021, resulting in 28,200 new culinary jobs in Pennsylvania and 1.4 million new jobs nationwide.
“By developing our Culinary Arts Institute, we are able to expand the College’s existing Culinary Arts program. This means we will be able to prepare a greater number of students for careers in an industry that has viable employment opportunities, both now and in the future,” said Dr. Stout. “The Institute will have the capacity to enroll up 350 students over the next five years.”
Students will be able to select from a wide range of programing options that best meet their professional goals. Associate in Applied Science degree-seeking students can concentrate in Professional Culinary Arts or Professional Baking and Pastry Arts within the curriculum, and a one-year certificate program is also offered.
The Institute’s courses and programs are designed to be flexible, with both day and evening hours, which enable returning adult students, like Joseph Jay Bullick, to pursue their dreams.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own restaurant,” said Bullick, a current Culinary Arts student who works as a day shift security officer at the Montgomery County Courthouse. “The fact that the College offers an evening program will help get me there.”
The Culinary Arts curriculum emphasizes hands-on, lab-based learning in a professional kitchen setting. Aligned with best practices in culinary education, the on-site program director, career coach and academic advisors will work directly with students from start to finish – from application through graduation to employment – to support their success.
The Institute will also support variety of non-credit courses for the culinary enthusiast and for professional development. Examples include basic catering, cooking technology, meeting and event planning, professional bartending, culinary occupational ESL, and ServSafe certification instruction in both English and Spanish.
Conveniently located in the Towamencin Town Square complex near the Lansdale exchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the 15,000 square-foot facility will feature four state-of-the-art kitchens and equipment, three smart classrooms, a retail shop for coffee and baked goods, and a first floor patio for dining and grilling.