Teams will now prepare for national competition, April 29 – May 1

Harrisburg, Pa.February 25, 2016 – ProStart teams from Milton Hershey School and Monroe Career Technical Institute (Bartonsville) placed first at the 2016 Pennsylvania ProStart Competition in culinary arts and restaurant management, respectively. Students competed February 24, in State College, Pa., to win scholarships, honors and the opportunity to compete against the best teams from other states at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s National ProStart Invitational, April 29 – May 1, 2016, in Grapevine, Texas.

Thirteen ProStart teams gathered from throughout Pennsylvania to compete in either the culinary arts or restaurant management divisions. Culinary teams prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes, without access to running water or electricity using only two butane burners, and management teams present a business proposal for an original restaurant concept to a panel of industry judges. 

“These students practice all year for this competition,” says Hope Sterner, director of education. “They come in early, afterschool and on weekends, because this is what they’re passionate about and they want to do their very best.” 

The 2016 Pennsylvania ProStart Competition team winners are:

First Place Management: Monroe Career Technical Institute, Team Hendry
First Place Culinary: Milton Hershey School

Second Place Management: Monroe Career Technical Institute, Team Stelmach
Second Place Culinary: Monroe Career Technical Institute

Third Place Management: Northumberland County Career & Technology Center
Third Place Culinary: Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center

ProStart is a two-year career and technical education program focused on teaching culinary skills and restaurant management fundamentals. Administered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, ProStart is available in all 50 states, Guam and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and Asia. Nearly 120,000 students are enrolled in the industry-driven program that offers a hands-on and group-learning based curriculum as a platform where students also learn employability skills such as teamwork, workplace communication, professionalism and time management. 

“The students who compete here are determined,” says Sterner, “Determined to win, determined to succeed – and not just here in this moment, but for the rest of their lives. ProStart reinforces the relationship between industry and the classroom, resulting in a workforce who understands what the industry is about and all of the opportunities it has to offer.” 

C.A. Curtze Company, a food service distributor headquartered in Erie, Pa., was the event’s platinum sponsor. Ecolab, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Red Roby Gourmet Burgers & Brews, SYSCO Pittsburgh, The Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College, Westmoreland County Community College, PepsiCo, Penn State Hospitality Services and Mercer Culinary were additional event sponsors.

For more information on the ProStart program, visit NRAEF.org/ProStart or find us on Twitter or Facebook.

About the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation
As the charitable arm of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, the PRLAEF supports the industry through education programs like ProStart and awards scholarships to students who are pursuing post-secondary degrees in the hospitality industry.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.

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