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CNM Named Postsecondary Partner for Restaurant Apprenticeship Program

July 31, 2017 -- CNM and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation kicked off a new restaurant apprenticeship program on Monday with an informational meeting for restaurant owners interested in participating in the program.

CNM culinary students provided appetizers at the kickoff event that was held in CNM's Bistro 106 on Main Campus. 

The new apprenticeship program will allow CNM culinary students to get valuable real-world work experience. 

“Culinary students will take classes at CNM and then spend six months to two years working in a restaurant as an apprentice,” said Victoria Martinez, academic affairs director for Culinary Arts, Brewing & Beverage Management, and Hospitality & Tourism in CNM’s School of Business & Information Technology. “They will need between 1,000 to 4,000 hours of on-the-job training, depending on how much culinary course experience they have.”

They can take classes online at CNM, which is the postsecondary partner for New Mexico, or face-to-face classes at CNM or other culinary schools around the country.

The National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation officially launched the apprenticeship program earlier this year after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship awarded it a $1.8 million grant. A hospitality segment is part of this grant, too. CNM was approved by the Labor Department to participate in the restaurant portion of the grant last month.

As part of the apprenticeship program, the students will learn both the front of house, or dining room, and back of the house, or kitchen, operations. The students can take their courses at the school of their choice and then do restaurant apprenticeships in their hometown working in cooperation with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

“Apprenticeships can help employees advance their careers to the management level,” Martinez said. “Employers benefit, too, because the apprentices deepen their employee talent pool with a skilled and well-trained workforce.”

She added that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, apprenticeships in restaurants, food-service and hospitality translate into opportunities that can earn a typical manager between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.

Martinez said a total of 450 students nationwide are expected to participate in the apprenticeship program by fall with at least seven in New Mexico.

For more information about being a participating restaurant or apprentice, contact Victoria Martinez at (505) 224-3896.

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