Now Recruiting for the Next Group of Students for Culinary and Horticultural Careers

County College of Morris (CCM) recently celebrated the latest graduates from its Culinary Opportunity (COP) and Horticultural Opportunity (HOP) programs, as it also has begun recruiting for the next class for the training sessions for adults with developmental disabilities.

COP Graduates

COP Graduates
Cade Herman, Brendan Criscione, Kenneth Vellon, Darian Dadgari, Alexis Reynolds, Bryant Espaillat, Instructor Joseph Mastropierro, Joshua Carter, Veeral Dave and Instructors Emily Guderian and Jacqueline Thompson.

COP prepares students for entry-level positions in food production or packaging in a grocery, supermarket, convenience store or food market. Students in the program also obtain Serv-Safe certification and are provided with resume preparation and interviewing skills, along with the opportunity to meet potential employers.

Students in HOP gain hands-on experience in horticultural practices ranging from greenhouse production to landscape maintenance, to floriculture. Students learn about the safe use of tools, soil preparation and seeding, transplanting techniques, caring for houseplants and more. As with the COP program, students learn how to put together a resume and interviewing skills and have the opportunity to meet with potential employers.

On May 19, the college held a ceremony to honor the graduates from this semester’s COP and HOP programs, several of whom have already obtained employment in their respective field.

COP graduates from this Spring Semester are Joshua Carter, of Flanders; Brendan Criscione, of Bernardsville; Darian Dadgari of Ledgewood; Veeral Dave, of Parsippany; Bryant Espaillat, of Morris Plains, Cade Herman of Oak Ridge, Alexis Reynolds, of Denville; and Kenneth Vellon, of Newark. This is the sixth class that has graduated from COP.

HOP Graduates

HOP Graduates
(l-r) Ryan May, Instructor Denise Capoano, Avi Saunders, Jordan Walther, Louis DeVito, Kevin Hasenbein, Instructor’s Assistant Michael Leao.

HOP graduates from the Spring Semester, which were the program’s second set of graduates, are Louis DeVito, of Long Valley; Kevin Hasenbein, of Morristown; Ryan May, of Morristown; Avi Saunders, of Livingston; and Jordan Walther, of Great Meadows.
Speaking to the graduates, Irena Kaler, director of Workforce Development & Community Partnerships, commended them for their hard work, determination and cheerful attitudes, saying, “The sun shines brighter when you are around.”

Both programs are limited to eight students to provide for individualized and extensive hands-on training. For more information on COP, visit and for HOP, go to