Expanding & Enhancing the Culinary Training Program

A month ago, the Culinary Training Program at Second Harvest celebrated three more classes of graduating culinary students, all of which have gone on to be fully employed. With an additional 30 graduating students, there are more than 280 alumni of the program who have each created success for themselves and their families.

Recently, Second Harvest examined how we could expand and enhance the program to increase the employability of our graduates and increase the number of students that go through the program.

State Legislature Request

With the help of State Rep. Kamia Brown (HB 2623) and State Sen. David Simmons, we are requesting $350,000 from the Florida legislature to fund the expansion and enhancement of the culinary program for 80 students. The funding will provide hands-on experience with barista and baking skills. By expanding student knowledge and experience with different aspects of the industry it will increase their employability. Baking skills especially are highly sought after by employers.

Additionally, the funding will go towards a passenger van to transport students to and from field trips to potential employers and provide even more transportation for catering events that are staffed by students.

The Department of Economic Opportunity recently forecasted a 10.7%  increased demand for hospitality employees in Central Florida over the next 8 years. This funding request will directly address this increased demand with highly-skilled culinary graduates.

Next Steps

Second Harvest is currently waiting for the House version of the bill (HB 2623) to be scheduled to be heard in its first House committee — the House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. Once the bill has been scheduled to be heard, you will receive a call to action to ensure it passes out of this committee by contacting all Committee members and asking for their support.

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