Superintendent John Cabral and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Directors Darla Hartung and Michael Raposa are pleased to announce that Taunton High School’s CTE program has been awarded the Career Technical Initiative Implementation Grant by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Taunton High School will receive $213,423.50 as part of the grant to provide training and placement to prepare underemployed individuals for Culinary Arts positions. Grant employer partners include Bracks Grille and Tap, Fireside Grille and Stoneforge Tavern.
The district will first receive a one-time $40,000 start-up/planning grant as part of this award. The remainder of the grant is contingent upon Taunton High School recruiting 30 high school graduates and/or adults.
Adult students interested in pursuing a Culinary Arts career path must be willing to enroll and commit to 200-300 hours of training at THS and be willing to obtain training to qualify them for industry-recognized credentials essential to work in the culinary field. There will be 200+ hours of training during Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and/or Summer 2023. Each session is expected to allow for ten students to attend.
As part of the grant, funds are set aside to help students enroll and persist in the program. Funds will be allocated to help students with transportation and students may receive gas cards, vouchers and other incentives. In the event adult students with children lack childcare, paid childcare will be provided to the adult learners while they are at school.
An additional incentive for students is paid internships at the district’s restaurant partners under the direction of the restaurant chefs. These internships will be funded through the grant in order to provide first-hand experience to help adult learners succeed and also to provide restaurant owners/chefs time to observe and work with the potential candidates prior to hiring them.
Restaurant partners will play an integral part in this program as they have agreed to interview graduates within two weeks of program graduation for open positions at their restaurant locations and potentially hire qualified graduates at an average starting hourly wage.
“I would like to thank Darla Hartung and Michael Raposa for their work in securing this grant for our district. This grant is an amazing opportunity for the Taunton Public Schools’ CTE program and those looking to return to school to learn hands-on skills within the Taunton Community,” said Superintendent Cabral. ‘We encourage individuals to join the program and reap all of the amazing benefits that this grant offers.”
As a result of the support of the Legislature, $15.3 million was allocated to the Career Technical Initiative in the Fiscal Year 22 State Budget to support the ongoing economic recovery and growth objectives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These strategic investments are part of the ongoing effort by the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Cabinet to scale effective career pathway programs that better position residents who want to be hired into jobs that businesses need to be filled.