As the Jacksonville area reinforces its position as a tourism destination, the culinary arts and food service employment demands increase. To address workforce capacity while strengthening the career pipeline for high school students, FSCJ’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality program has expanded into a fully renovated space at FSCJ Downtown Campus. The expansion increases relationship cultivation with regional high schools and service industry employers to provide career exploration and hands-on educational opportunities.
Housed in the area formerly occupied by the welding program, which has since moved to Building B, the fully renovated space includes a large, state-of-the-art kitchen and food preparation area, as well as a modern multipurpose area for instruction, dining, meeting and event hosting.
Students will prepare food for sale from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and dinner will be available on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The rotating menu will feature cuisine from countries around the world including France, Germany and Italy, among others.
The program was awarded a $10,000 Workforce Development and Education Grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support the culinary program expansion. Through the grant, Bank of America continues their investment in helping connect the unemployed, underemployed, veterans, youth and those with disabilities to employment and education opportunities.
“The new Culinary Arts and Hospitality program space will be a tremendous asset for our College, our students and the community,” said Instructional Program Manager Bob Mark. “We are extremely fortunate to have great support from community partners like Bank of America Charitable Foundation which will directly impact learning and instructional opportunities and will continue to elevate the program for the advancement of our community.”