ProStart is a career and technical education program that unites the foodservice industry and the classroom to teach high school students culinary skills and restaurant management principles, as well as skills such as communication, teamwork, professionalism, and time management which will make them more employable. .
From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry driven curriculum provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime. Partnering with NM ProStart can mean many things from being a mentor, to hiring ProStart student or Alumni, or even sponsor a team at the State / National competition. Many of the New Mexico Restaurant Association members dedicate time to being a mentor to a team competing at state and developing a relationship that turns into long term employment and bridging the gap between education and industry employment. Other members have schools visit or vice versa for Chef demo and a chance to talk to the ProStart students about their employment opportunities with their operation.
ProStart level one focuses on the industry as whole from career options, professionalism, communication, risk management, equipment, math, front of the service/ basics, and intro into management. For back of the house it teaches basic cooking methods, cuts, soups, sauces, and intro to baking.
ProStart level two jumps into marketing, menu management, cost control, food cost, labor cost, purchasing, to building a successful team. Again for back of the house level two covers the fruits, grains, dairy, breakfast, veggies, different proteins, nutrition, desserts to plating and garnishes.
All of these topics and class objectives makes the program a great start into the Hospitality and Tourism Industry. With this knowledge many of restaurants see the importance of this program.
ProStart students can pass exams for each level, gain 400 related industry work hours to apply for their Certificate of Achievement (COA). This offers them scholarships to over 60 schools along with college credits.
ProStart COA holders are very important to hospitality operations, as the COA holders who are working in the industry can be registered in the restaurant manager apprenticeship to grow their knowledge. The best part about connection is the apprenticeship has 3 levels, a ProStart COA holder can move from the first level to the second level, skipping six month of the apprenticeship since they went through the ProStart Program.
New Mexico has over 35 confirmed ProStart Programs across the state to connect with. Simply email our NM ProStart Coordinator Brianna Dennis to get connected with your local ProStart school.