Northern Essex Receives $2 Million for Downtown Culinary Program

Northern Essex Community College is receiving $2 million to build a hospitality and culinary arts program in downtown Haverhill, complete with retail space.

The state is expected to issue a request for proposals this week to solicit bids for a downtown space for the program.

Plans call for new construction of culinary labs, computer lab, classroom space and multi-use function and retail space in the downtown dining district. The $2 million is comprised of $1 million in state bond funding and $1 million in the new state budget secured by Haverhill Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Dempsey previously secured $1 million in the 2017 state budget for the initial phase of the program expansion.

“I am excited that we were able to secure funding that will bring Northern Essex Community College downtown and expand upon the Haverhill campus,” said Dempsey. “Training in the restaurant and hospitality fields is in high demand right now and I’m happy that we are introducing new and exciting educational opportunities and bringing an energized and vibrant student life to downtown Haverhill.”

Northern Essex will partner with Endicott College, Beverly; Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School; and Merrimack Valley employers.

A little more than a year ago, WHAV reported college trustees were studying the possibility of partnering with Endicott College in downtown Haverhill. Endicott offers a School of Hospitality Management. That program provides students with three internship experiences along with classroom learning.

In March, the college received a $150,000 state grant to purchase and install 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.

Northern Essex President Lane A. Glenn said “We are thrilled that Rep. Dempsey and our state legislature have recognized the very positive impact this program will have on the Merrimack Valley economy, and we’re looking forward to having a presence in downtown Haverhill and preparing local residents for culinary and hospitality careers.”

The college currently offers an associate degree in Business Management, Hospitality Option, and is planning to offer a culinary arts certificate program in the fall of 2018.  These programs are aimed at meeting employer demands for skilled hospitality help.

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6 Comments

  1. Sal said:

    “It’s the culmination of a grand theft of taxpayer funds.” Sad, but true. NECCO’s enrollments are tanking. This is a last ditch effort for them to rescue the school. They’ve been laying off like crazy, so why are the taxpayers footing the bill for this? Doesn’t seem like a good investment.

  2. buster said:

    thank you brian for the work that you are doing for Haverhill. what about the 1st floor of the 3rd new building that will be built in the future . this would make the numbers work.

  3. Jack Haverhill said:

    See what’s happening here….it’s a continuation of the scam and ripoff of taxpayers.

    First good ole boys Jimmy Taxman and Dempsey give a no bid contract to big donors to their coffers to use taxpayer money to construct a building that professional real estate developers wouldn’t touch for 40 years.
    Then they guarantee occupancy of the building by partnering with Mr. Term Limits, Marty Meehan making sure parents and students of UMass foot the bill to pay the mortgage.
    Now, they again use taxpayer funds to create a culinary program which did not previously exist guaranteeing UMass can actually fill the building.

    It’s the culmination of a grand theft of taxpayer funds.

  4. Your Old Pal Jim said:

    It would be great if they could open a nice not for profit restaurant similar to the dining room at Vo-tech, but in downtown with low prices. Not everyone can afford the restaurants down there, but everyone deserves a good meal. Let’s show some hospitality for “the least of us,” not just the already well fed.

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