CHARLESTON, W.Va. – ProStart teams from James Rumsey Technical Institute and Carver Career Center placed first at the 2016 Hospitality Cup - West Virginia’s State ProStart Competition - in culinary arts and restaurant management, respectively. Students competed March 2-3, in Morgantown, WV, to win scholarships, honors and the opportunity to compete against the best teams from other states at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s National ProStart Invitational, April 29 – May 1, 2016, in Grapevine, Texas.
Fifteen ProStart teams gathered from throughout West Virginia to compete in either the culinary arts or restaurant management divisions. Culinary teams prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes, without access to running water or electricity using only two butane burners, and management teams present a business proposal for an original restaurant concept to a panel of industry judges.
“These students practice all year for this competition,” said Tami Maynard, Hospitality, Education and Training Coordinator, WVDE Office of Career & Technical Instruction. “They come in early, after school and on weekends, because this is what they’re passionate about and they want to do their very best.”
Ten post-secondary institutions and organizations presented the top three teams in each category with scholarships and tuition waivers that totaled almost one million dollars.
The 2016 West Virginia ProStart Competition team winners are:
First Place Management: Carver Career Center
First Place Culinary: James Rumsey Technical Institute
Second Place Management: Buckhannon Upshur High School
Second Place Culinary: Putnam Career & Technical Center
Third Place Management: Wheeling Park High School
Third Place Culinary: Wheeling Park High School
ProStart is a high school career and technical education program focused on teaching culinary skills and restaurant management fundamentals. Administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, ProStart is available in all 50 states, Guam and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and Asia. Nearly 120,000 students are enrolled in the industry-driven program that offers a hands-on and group-learning based curriculum as a platform where students also learn employability skills such as teamwork, workplace communication, professionalism and time management.
“The students who compete here are determined,” said Michael Martirano, West Virginia state Superintendent of Schools. “Determined to win, determined to succeed – and not just here in this moment, but for the rest of their lives. ProStart reinforces the relationship between industry and the classroom, resulting in a workforce who understands what the industry is about and all of the opportunities it has to offer.”
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit http://NRAEF.org.
For additional information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.