APATT Wake Tech culinary training program

Service Industry Salvation

In July/August 2021, Web Exclusive by Anna Beth Adcock1 Comment

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WEB EXCLUSIVE Wake Tech and A Place at the Table team up to provide hospitality training to community members in the wake of Raleigh’s struggling post-COVID restaurant industry.

If your favorite restaurant is still closed for lunch (or is reducing the number of days they’re open in general), A Place at the Table and Wake Tech Community College have a solution. The two local institutions have teamed up to train underemployed and unemployed members of the local community to work in Raleigh’s struggling restaurant scene during APATT’s off hours.

With the demand to dine out on the rise and a current shortage of trained hospitality workers, the launch of this partnership comes at a time when hotels, restaurants, bars, breweries and food trucks need employees now more than ever. Through the free hospitality training program, students will come in to APATT once it closes (Tuesday through Friday at 2pm) for on-the-job training. Students will learn hospitality and culinary skills that will result in industry-recognized certificates with the potential to open up a plethora of opportunities with local restaurateurs.

Wake Tech’s light will come on whenever classes are in session.

“Our goal is to be the place to go to find qualified help and funnel a pipeline of trained students who can work and grow in the companies that they get hired,” says Sameer Pawa, Wake Tech’s director of the hospitality workforce. 

Wake Tech has been running its hospitality training program for more than a decade, placing over 70 percent of its students in the workforce in the process. The college chose APATT as its most recent program partner due in large part to the fact that the beloved cafe has recently expanded its space—and it closes early every day, allowing these culinary trainees to get experience in a real Raleigh restaurant kitchen.

“We love everything about Wake Tech and can’t wait for them to be in our space,” says Maggie Kane, executive director of A Place at the Table. “We believe everyone should have access to community and good food, but by bringing this awesome culinary program Downtown, folks will also have access to an affordable education and stable career.”

Adds Kane, “The culinary industry needs more awesome folks to join the industry and this will only bring valued employees to all of our restaurants, cafes and hotels!”

The program will begin on Aug. 16 and run for nine weeks. We’re hungry to see how much it helps Raleigh’s hospitality industry and can’t wait to see what kind of great talent comes out of it. Register here.

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