WMCC culinary arts students receive in-demand tourism industry training and real-world experience
A new partnership and apprenticeship program between Omni Mount Washington Resort’s in-house Bretton Woods Culinary Academy and White Mountains Community College is offering an answer to hospitality workforce challenges and an opportunity for students to learn from a premiere tourism destination.
Designed to address a shortage of highly-trained culinary professionals in New Hampshire and the rest of the region, the new three-year apprenticeship program will provide comprehensive real-world training and full-time employment for students pursuing an associate degree in culinary arts from the N.H. Culinary Institute at White Mountains Community College.
“Apprenticeships are a proven approach for providing high quality culinary arts training that benefit both students and industry partner hosts,” said Kurt Hohmeister, associate professor at WMCC, a former executive chef, and culinary instructor at WMCC for over 30 years. “We’re joining forces to give students the best possible educational experience while Omni Mount Washington Resort fills an immediate staffing need and helps shape the next generation of culinary leaders.”
New Hampshire’s hospitality industry has been identified as one of three major areas of focus for the state’s workforce development efforts, and represents a combined GDP of $2.52 billion. With that expected to grow in both short and long-term projections, and considering New Hampshire’s consistently low unemployment rate, WMCC and Omni Mount Washington Resort’s apprenticeship program hopes to help offset projected gaps between the available workers and those needed to continue positive trends in the state’s tourism industry.
Student apprentices spend three years as full-time employees at the resort and in turn, earn money while they learn, with pay increases at certain milestones. Optional housing is provided at the hotel while students complete coursework and earn credits toward their degree. After three years, including one as an apprentice at Omni Mount Washington Resort, students graduate with an associate of science degree in culinary arts, experience at a top-tier resort complete with training from renowned culinary professionals, and a network of connections to help them as they embark on new careers in tourism, hospitality, and culinary arts.
“The Bretton Woods Culinary Academy is happy to be partnered with White Mountains Community College to educate and guide students in their career growth. We believe the skills and experience the apprentices are learning will help strengthen the community with a highly skilled workforce,” said Joseph Madzia IV, executive sous chef at Omni Mount Washington Resort.”