New Mexico State University
Currently, the EPCC Culinary Arts program is partnered with New Mexico State University. This benefits both programs as students at NMSU are able to take the advanced culinary classes that El Paso Community College offers, while EPCC students graduate from EPCC and transition directly into the Food Science Program at NMSU. This same partnership extends to grant writing opportunities for both educational entities. NMSU was recently awarded a grant that endowed the El Paso Community College Culinary Arts Program with just over $12000.00 in funds for equipment.
Area High Schools
Possibly, the most important partnership for the Culinary Program lays with its commitment to the area High School Culinary Programs. EPCC is partnered with EPISD, SISD, YISD and CISD and works proactively with each district’s culinary students, both through joint program efforts as well as hosting the annual Skills USA Culinary Competition. Winners from past years have gone on to compete not only at state level but also to advance to the national level of competition. The benefit to EPCC is that many of the high school students select the Culinary Program at EPCC to continue their education.
Savor by SMG
The Culinary Program is also partnered with Savor by SMG, the management company that oversees the convention center, as well as a multitude of outlets in the El Paso region. The goal of this partnership is to extend opportunities for students, not only in El Paso, but beyond. The benefit to SMG is a hiring ground from which qualified candidates can be tested and trained for their worldwide operations.
The Culinary Arts Program at EPCC is also partnered with Sysco Foods. This partnership was developed primarily to enhance the Research and Test Kitchen in the proposed facilities. The basis of the partnership relies on EPCC providing the build out of the kitchen, while Sysco provides the equipment. Projected costs of equipment are estimated at $90000.00+. Sysco will utilize the area on a regular and scheduled basis while EPCC students will benefit from the area while not in use by Sysco. It should also be noted that Sysco reps will rely on EPCC students to act as assistants during demos done for Sysco customers, for which the student’s entry fee into the ACF will be paid. This not only allows our students the opportunity to network professionally but also assists them in their professional goals of certification and competition through the ACF.