PERREAULT Magazine OCT | NOV 2015 - Page 132

Perreault Magazine - 132 -

The WCK Culinary School aims to provide Haitian residents with professional culinary skills, meal production, front of house service, kitchen hygiene, food safety, and job search and self empowerment skills. In addition to access to better job opportunities, training on improved food safety and sanitation has enormous potential for improving the health of Haitians and increases the marketability of the graduates. The Culinary School is expected to produce 30-40 skilled graduates per year and increase the students’ earnings potential by 500%.

The average non-graduate earns $1,000 per year through Haiti’s 'informal economy', while the average graduate from our Culinary School can earn $5,000 per year to start, with skilled labor that can elevate their lives dramatically. This job creation will not only elevate the quality of the hospitality workforce in Haiti (helping to increase tourism), but will help strengthen the economy of Haiti overall. By increasing the quality of service and culinary aptitude in Haiti, tourism can increase with confidence - attracting new markets, establishing a reputation as a "destination", and boosting the overall economy.

In partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Tourism and the Ecole Hotelier (Hospitality School), WCK launched an 8 month pilot program in January 2015, testing our curriculum and the skills of our Culinary School staff. Students were comprised of 10% males, 90% females, all college aged (19-22) and economically disadvantaged. Our unique curriculum supports job placement and entrepreneurship in the culinary field, focusing on all facets of culinary expertise, including food safety and sanitation as it relates to professional cooking. Our Culinary School staff was identified via an extensive interview process – resulting in a talented, experienced chef and teacher, trained in Paris, France and dedicated to uplifting the culinary expertise of her home country – Haiti.

This pilot class is on track to graduate 30 students in October, 2015. After graduation, the students will train in a professional kitchen in a one month long internship program. World Central Kitchen and the Culinary School staff partner with hotels and restaurants that will provide experience rich internships. This internship is designed to provide the students with hands-on professional experience prior to obtaining a career in the industry. After the internship, the students will have a breadth of experience and culinary training that results in a highly marketable candidate for the growing hospitality industry in Haiti.