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High School Students Win State Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Competition

Saturday, March 12, 2016  
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Winning Teams Will Head to Dallas, Texas for the National Competition, April 29 – May 1

Richmond, Va.March 12, 2016 – Virginia ProStart teams from C.S. Monroe Technology Center and Landstown High School placed first at the 2016 Virginia ProStart Student Invitational in culinary arts and restaurant management, respectively. Students competed March 11, 2016, in Suffolk, Virginia at Sysco Hampton Roads, 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.

More than 70 students representing 15 teams gathered from throughout Virginia 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 Jim Wilson, Director of Education & Workforce Development for Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. “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 Virginia ProStart competition team winners are:

First Place Management: Landstown High School – Virginia Beach
First Place Culinary: C.S. Monroe Technology Center (Team II) – Loudoun County

Second Place Management: Tallwood High School – Virginia Beach
Second Place Culinary: Wythe County Technology Center – Wythe County

Third Place Management: Phoebus High School – Hampton
Third Place Culinary: C.S. Monroe Technology Center (Team I) – Loudoun County

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 Wilson, “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.”

For more information on the ProStart program, visit NRAEF.org/ProStart or VRLTA.org/ProStart; or find us on Twitter (@VAProStart) or Facebook (facebook.com/VAProStart/).

About the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association Education Foundation (VRLTAEF)
As the educational arm of the Virginia, Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, the VRLTA exists to enhance the restaurant and hospitality industries’ through education and encouraging youth to pursue post-secondary education in the culinary and hospitality fields. This is primarily done through the coordination of the Virginia ProStart program and the administration of a scholarship program. For more information on the VRLTAEF, visit VRLTA.org/VRLTAEF.

About the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association (VRLTA)
The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association is the only unified voice for the restaurant, lodging, travel and hospitality suppliers associations. VRLTA creates value for members by promoting the legislative interests of the industry, networking, educational opportunities, and protecting free enterprise. Inquiries about membership and VRLTA services should be directed to VRLTA at (804) 288-3065 or VRLTA.org.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF)
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 2016, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to provide a record 14.4 million jobs, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.

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