News Release

College, Job Corps team up for culinary arts apprenticeship

Excelsior Springs program matches students with local companies

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. – The Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center has launched a Culinary Arts Apprenticeship Program at William Jewell College in partnership with Fresh Ideas, a Missouri-based food-service provider.

The apprenticeship designation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship allows culinary arts students at the Job Corps center to obtain industry credentials and improve their culinary skills through valuable hands-on training programs with local employers.

“Through the apprenticeship program, we can offer our culinary arts students improved training to better prepare them for the workforce, make them more valuable to hospitality industry employers, and open the door to higher-paying job opportunities,” said Al Ford, director of the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center.

The department’s Office of Apprenticeship, the Excelsior Springs center and Fresh Ideas Food Service Management of William Jewell College collaborated to develop the program’s curriculum and standards. Once enrolled, students will complete competency-based apprenticeship training, including 2,000 hours of hands-on experience at local restaurants. The program will also prepare culinary arts students for the ServSafe Manager Certification and the ServSafe Alcohol Certification. Students will be able to transfer the competencies they learned as registered apprentices to continue their education at the college level.

“With a network of over 150,000 employers in more than 1,000 occupations, ApprenticeshipUSA is developing a new generation of workers to help our nation succeed in the 21st-century economy,”said Roy Konkey, apprenticeship and training representative with the Office of Apprenticeship. Learn more at

Based in Columbia, Fresh Ideas Management LLC is a food service management company that provides dining and catering services to more than 25 Midwest colleges and universities. Started in January 2000, the company specializes in small private colleges and focuses on its ability to meet the diverse needs of its clients.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Corps is the nation’s largest career technical training and education program for low-income young people ages 16 through 24. Job Corps provides services to approximately 60,000 young people each year at 125 centers in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Job Corps, visit Job Corps online at or or call (800) 733-JOBS.

Employment and Training Administration
March 20, 2017
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Contact: Scott Allen
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Contact: Rhonda Burke
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