National restaurant management & culinary arts program blends classroom learning with real-life experience
August 26, 2013 – Davenport, IA – Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) programs across the state are fast-tracking curriculums that provide career paths to students. With a projected growth rate of 1,000 jobs every year for the next decade, hospitality is an obvious partner industry. Davenport high schools (DCSD) have responded by implementing the ProStart® program, a two-year curriculum that teaches both culinary and hospitality management skills.
“The opportunities for young people in our industry are endless,” said May Schaben, Executive Director, Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation. “The ProStart program prepares students for immediate employment and establishes a foundation for further learning. In fact, many collegiate hospitality management and culinary arts programs offer college credits for ProStart courses.”
The program’s satellite location is Davenport Central High School, but students from the entire Davenport Community School district are involved.
Preparing Students for Immediate Employment
The Iowa foodservice and restaurant industry currently employs 140,300 workers, or nine percent of Iowa’s total workforce, and is expected to add 10,700 jobs over the next decade, the majority of which will be management level positions. Through the ProStart program, Iowa high schools are building a more prepared, highly skilled workforce to meet the industry’s growing demand for professional employees. As one of 18 Iowa high schools participating in the ProStart program, DCSD students combine classroom work with mentored work experiences at local restaurants.
“We are excited that DCSD ProStart students will be connected with local industry,” said Jenee Cross, DCSD ProStart Educator. “Hands-on experience is an effective way for students to connect academics to real-life situations.”
Opportunities to Further Education
Once students complete all program requirements, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement, giving them access to scholarships and articulation agreements with leading colleges and universities. Currently seven community colleges across Iowa, in addition to Iowa State University, offer hospitality and management programs.
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The Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation
The Iowa Restaurant Association exists to create and promote awareness of hospitality as a professional career path and to strengthen and improve the educational offerings, opportunities and services for the advancement of the restaurant and retail beverage industries in the state of Iowa.