West Virginia ProStart Students Win $400,000 in Scholarships

March 17, 2008

CHARLESTON, W. Va.  _ The West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Hospitality Education and Training (WV HEAT) announced today the results of the 7th annual WV HEAT ProStart Hospitality Cup Competition held at the Greenbrier on March 7 and 8, 2008.   Students on the first, second and third place teams from both the culinary and management divisions of the competition were awarded scholarships from ten post-secondary schools to be able to pursue advanced training in culinary arts or hospitality management after high school.  The total value of all of the scholarship offers awarded was more than $400,000.


ProStart student teams participating in the culinary competition demonstrated their creative abilities through the preparation of a meal consisting of a starter, entrée and dessert. Taking first place in the culinary competition was the team from the Putnam County Career and Technical Center. Second place was awarded to The Academy of Careers and Technology in Raleigh County, West Virginia.  The team from the Mason County Career Center was awarded third place.


ProStart student teams participating in the management competition demonstrated their knowledge of the restaurant and foodservice industry by competing in a case study, where students were tested on their communication skills and ability to apply their knowledge of the industry to practical situations. First place in the management competition went to the team from the Marion County Technical Center.  Second place was awarded to the team from the Fayette County Institute of Technology. The team from Greenbrier East High School in Greenbrier County, West Virginia was awarded third place.


These students have dedicated themselves to learning as much as they can in the classroom and then applying it in this competition.  It is exciting to watch them earn the opportunity to represent our state at the national competition,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine. “Knowledge, skill, motivation and teamwork are key factors of success at this competition and as they move forward in their career and education in the restaurant and foodservice industry.”


The teams from Putnam Career and Technical Center and Marion County Technical Center will now compete in the 7th Annual National ProStart Invitational for a chance to win the national title April 24-26, 2008 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, CA.   At the national competition, the teams will compete against 36 other qualifying teams from across the country.   First, second, third, fourth and fifth place winning teams from both the culinary and management competitions at the national level will be awarded scholarships to pursue a college education.


The ProStart program, administered in West Virginia by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and WV HEAT, is a two-year curriculum designed to teach high school students the management skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships where they are mentored by industry managers.  Students that meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and participate in at least 400 hours of a mentored work experience are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce. Currently, 51 ProStart programs operate in West Virginia with an enrollment of more than 1,000 high school students per year.  


To learn more about the 2008 Hospitality Cup Competition, WV HEAT, or the ProStart program, please call 304-558-3896 or visit www.wvheat.org


Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.