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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Mississippi Department of Employment Security

Gulf Coast Culinary Arts Learning Center

Innovation photo or program logo

Community Challenge/Problem

Cooking-up futures through training and job placement is the goal of the Culinary Arts Learning Center in Biloxi, MS. The program, which is funded by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and operated by MINACT, focuses on providing training for in-demand employment, training individuals from ages 18 and up impacted by Hurricane Katrina at no cost to the students.

Board Solution/Innovation

Chef Roberto Hasche of Brazil designed the curriculum. Chef Hasche and Chef Instructors Gerald Quick and Eoin Raymond meticulously develop the talents of their students and encourage them to use their creativity in the kitchen. Over the course of the 12-week program, the world-class chefs teach the participants how to prepare everything from luncheon trays to casseroles. Students also learn the business side of a cooking operation.

Outcomes & Results

When students complete the program, they are Culinary Arts Learning Center certified “work ready” with a ServSafe Certificate and a Basic Cooking Skills Certificate. The center’s effective placement and aggressive post-graduation assistance programs are executed by a staff of dedicated Life Skills Coordinators. Since the program began in January 2009, 151 of the 179 graduates have been placed in jobs on the Gulf Coast.

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