EDA and Thomas Nelson partner for culinary workforce development

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(Courtesy Thomas Nelson Community College.)
(Courtesy Thomas Nelson Community College.)

The Economic Development Authorities of James City County and the City of Williamsburg are partnering with Thomas Nelson Community College on a workforce development program for residents seeking a career in culinary arts.

The JCC and City EDAs each contributed $5,000 to help fund ChefsGO 1.0, a pilot training program open to students 18 years and older according to a news release from James City County’s Office of Economic Development.  The eight-week program offers classroom and kitchen training from area chefs followed by four months of paid work experience in the kitchens of participating local restaurants.

“Classes for ChefsGO 1.0 are interactive and intensive, teaching students the basic fundamentals of a full service restaurant,” stated the county’s release.  “Students will be introduced to everything from knife skills to preparing sauces and soups, proper kitchen sanitation, food storage and much more.”

Students will graduate in August and receive a certificate.  Tuition is $1,500 and scholarships are available.  The program is limited to 15 students.

“ChefsGO 1.0 is a career opportunity for interested applicants 18 years old or older to explore the basic foundation of Culinary Arts,” said Chef Hans Schadler of Waypoint Seafood and Grill on the program’s website.  “Thought and designed by highly skilled local professionals, the program will touch on all basic academic and culinary skill sets preparing the individuals for possible entry positions in the Hospitality arena.”

Residents interested in applying can do so at the Thomas Nelson website. Applicants are not required to have any prior restaurant work experience or culinary ability. A mandatory orientation program will be held Jan. 24 at 5 p.m. at TNCC’s Workforce Center and candidate interviews will be held between Feb. 6 and 10.