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HCC Offering Free Culinary Training for English-language Learners

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) is offering a free program for English-language learners looking to begin careers in the culinary and hospitality field.

The course, “MassSTEP ESOL Culinary Arts,” begins Monday, July 17 at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St., Holyoke. It runs Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., through Aug. 25.

The 180-hour training is designed for people learning English who are at an intermediate level. ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) instruction is built into the curriculum. The program is free thanks to a grant from the Adult & Community Learning Services division of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).

MassSTEP (skills, training, education programs) denotes a statewide network of DESE-funded pathways that prepare adult learners for promising careers with dynamic Massachusetts businesses.

In the HCC class, students will gain skills in knife techniques, cooking methods, culinary math and measurements, workplace etiquette, résumé building, and job searching, and earn workplace certifications including ServSafe manager, food handler, and alcohol. The course incorporates 90 hours of English-language learning and career preparation. The program is open to adult residents of Massachusetts who are learning English.

“This hands-on training is an exciting opportunity for students to begin a new career in culinary and hospitality, advance into higher-level roles, or continue studying culinary and hospitality at the college level,” said Pesha Black, director of ESOL at HCC. “Our alumni have gone on to work in restaurants, food service, hotels, and started their own entrepreneurial ventures. We work with over two dozen local employers eager to hire qualified graduates as food preparers, line cooks, servers, bartenders, hosts and hostesses, and hotel workers.”

For more information or to enroll, contact Moira Lozada at (413) 561-7280 or [email protected].