Northern Essex Community College provided details Monday on plans for a culinary program in downtown Haverhill.
As WHAV reported earlier, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a $500,000 grant Friday to benefit Northern Essex students in a new culinary arts certificate program and a developing mechatronics program. The grant pays for new equipment for both programs.
“Working in partnership with Whittier Vocational Technical High School, Greater Lawrence Technical School, Endicott College and Merrimack Valley employers, Northern Essex has focused on creating two programs that will train individuals for these high-demand jobs,” said college President Lane Glenn.
On the culinary side, $150,000 will be used for the purchase and installation of commercial restaurant equipment including countertop stoves, ranges, convection ovens, fryers, griddles, mixers, walk-in cooler and freezer and banquet tables and chairs. In addition, computers with hotel and restaurant related software will be used to train students in the areas of inventory control, recipe building, event planning and hotel management.
“It is the same equipment that culinary employees in the workplace use,” said Kelly Sullivan, dean of Technology, Arts Professional Studies and Science.
The recently approved culinary arts certificate program will be located in a yet-to-be-determined downtown Haverhill location beginning within the next two years. Over the last year, Glenn met with local restaurant owners and managers and received input on key topics such as career opportunities, curriculum content and equipment.
The kitchen will be available to entrepreneurs, small vendors and local training firms.
Vo-tech students may take courses at Whittier or at Northern Essex and receive credit, enabling students to enter the program with 9 to 12 college credits, which puts them ahead academically along with tuition savings. Further, under an agreement between Northern Essex and Endicott College, students may transfer into Endicott’s bachelor’s program matriculating as juniors. Endicott is also developing plans to offer courses at the Haverhill hospitality/culinary location.
In the area of advanced manufacturing, Northern Essex will use $350,000 to purchase mechatronic equipment to be used by students in a mechatronic certificate program being developed in partnership with Greater Lawrence Technical School, where the equipment will be installed. Mechatronics cuts across several disciplines already being taught at Lawrence Tech including electricity, engineering and electronics.
The program combines training in computer electronic systems, industrial electricity and mechanical functionalities. A survey of 200 local companies conducted last year by the Lawrence Partnership, identified this as a significant skills gap meaning local employers cannot find skilled workers to fill open positions that require these skills.