As a result of his dedication to the students, Urbanic has been selected to receive the 2005 Employer Partnership Recognition Award by the National Association of Tech Prep Leadership (NATPL). Ann Carpenter, the Webster County High School ProStart Teacher, nominated the Braxton County chef.
Urbanic and Carpenter will travel to Orlando, Florida, as guests of the NATPL, for the presentation of the award at an awards ceremony scheduled for September 28.
Throughout the year, Urbanic spent three to four hours with the students on each trip to Webster County. Additionally, his restaurant, Café Cimino donated 90 percent of the food products necessary for each practice. To help prepare the students for the annual ProStart Hospitality Cup at The Greenbrier, he gave them full access to his restaurant’s food prep area so they could practice in an unfamiliar setting. The 2005 competition was the first for the Webster County students and they earned a second place finish in the culinary division.
“I get so much enjoyment out of teaching those young students who are interested in the culinary arts,” said Urbanic, who continued his mentoring over the summer with a 16 year-old New Jersey student. “I wish there had been a program like ProStart when I was young.”
ProStart is a food service curriculum developed by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF). Those who complete the program are eligible for a national certificate from the NRAEF, articulated college credits and scholarships. The program is coordinated in West Virginia by the West Virginia Office of Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT), with the support of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Department of the Education and the Arts.
For more information about the ProStart program or WV HEAT, contact Greg Atkinson, Director of WV HEAT, at (304) 558-3896.