Eight-Week Program Provides Training for Employment in Food Production Settings

More than 10 large steel ladels hanging in a commerical kitchenCounty College of Morris (CCM) is launching the Culinary Opportunity Program (COP) for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, starting on May 20, as an eight-week term leading to a certificate of completion.

COP is designed to provide adults with developmental disabilities with the training and qualifications to work in a range of food production environments, including restaurants, cafeterias and specialty shops such as ice cream stores.
COP courses take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The total cost is $1,998, payable over two sessions at $999 each. CCM will offer the program every eight weeks. The first group starts May 20 and runs through July 22. Each COP session is limited to eight students. Registration is now taking place for the first program.

The Department of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts at CCM developed the program in response to a growing need to provide adults with developmental disabilities with greater opportunities, notes Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM.

“As a community college, our mission is to serve the entire community,” says Iacono. “This program will provide critical training for adults with developmental disabilities, who have aged out of the K-12 system, with a pathway for continued success.”

Students in the program will take four courses: Serv-Safe Food Handling, Cooking Traditions, Modern Cooking and Hospitality Work Experience. When possible, students also will take part in a 40-hour work opportunity.

Those accepted into the program will need to purchase a uniform and meet certain requirements, such as possessing a willingness to learn about and use commercial kitchen equipment, including mixers, gas stoves, convection ovens and dishwashers.

COP is being offered through the Center for Workforce Development at CCM. For more information and to apply, visit www.ccm.edu/workforce/cop/.