Through a charitable donation by Sodexo, Salem-Keizer Public Schools’ (SKPS) Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) is slated to receive a $250,000 donation to help fund the Culinary Arts program. The donation is being made to help assist in furthering their already successful program reach new heights.

 “This kitchen is a magnet. It has attracted some of our brightest stars from all walks of life culminating in a very diverse, successful program,” said James Weber, CTEC assistant principal. “Our staff have pushed the boundaries of education in this program seamlessly integrating English and Science into the industry of culinary arts.”

 Sodexo and SKPS have worked together for over 40 years and eagerly approached CTEC to partner when hearing about the opening of the Culinary Arts program.

 “Whether you are going into food services or not, take what you have learned and make sure you pay it back to others because that is how you make the biggest impact as an individual. Being collective is part of the great community here in Salem,” said Steve Dunmore, Sodexo’s CEO of School Services in North America.

 As leisure and hospitality becomes the state’s second-fastest growing industry, the Culinary Arts program prepares juniors and seniors for high-demand careers. Students are taught in a state-of-the-art commercial-grade kitchen under the guidance of professional chefs. Here they learn culinary techniques, restaurant management skills as well as task management and professional skills.

 CTEC is a public-private partnership between SKPS and the Mountain West Career Technical Institute. The center opened in the fall of 2015 and hosts 10 CTE programs: residential construction, manufacturing, welding and engineering, cosmetology, video and game design animation, autobody repair and painting, drone technology and robotics, business development and leadership, law enforcement, agriscience and culinary arts and management.