Contact: Alex Lyda;
For immediate release — Aug. 31, 2021
(DALLAS) –– Dallas College’s Health Care Culinary Services Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) has been recognized by the American National Standards Institute National Accreditation Board, the nonprofit organization announced today.
The new Health Care Culinary Services (HCCS) IRAP will train apprentices in culinary services at facilities such as hospitals and long-term care organizations that offer nutritional services to patients, staff and guests. The program combines on-the-job work experience with technical/classroom study to develop useful job skills for individuals entering the culinary workforce and current workers who need upskilling. Successful apprentices earn at least one of three credentials: Certified Fundamentals Cook, Certified Culinarian or Certified Sous Chef.
“Dallas College is thrilled to mark this milestone toward our goal of expanding the apprenticeship model to a national audience, while advancing our strategic priority to serve our community. We are grateful to collaborate with outstanding industry partners to strengthen the talent supply chain through the establishment of apprenticeships and industry-recognized credentials across many sectors, including health care,” said Dr. Pyeper Wilkins, vice chancellor for workforce and advancement at Dallas College.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and an uptick in hospital patients, there has been a growing need for culinary professionals in health care. As patient populations continue to grow, so does the need for staff to serve them, including cooks. Even before COVID-19, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the employment of cooks was on the rise nationwide, with a projected 10% growth (faster than average) in the number of jobs from 2019 to 2029.
Recent initiatives in health care food service have called for healthful meal options where nutritional quality influences what is served in health care institutions. To meet these expectations, health care facilities need skilled cooks who can integrate nutrition, taste, safety and specific diets into their culinary work. According to Erin Salamon, M.P.H., senior executive chef at Medical City Plano in Texas, hospital patients have prescribed diets from dietitians and doctors to ensure that their caloric needs are met and nutritional restrictions are incorporated.
Developed with funding from the Department of Labor (DOL) Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector Based Strategies grant program, IRAPs help close the growing skills gap by offering a quick, quality pathway to a career. This IRAP was developed in partnership with HCA Healthcare (Hospital Corporation of America), the American Culinary Federation, Bufflehead Strategies LLC, Workcred LLC and the American Society for Health Care Human Resources Administration.
For more information about the Dallas College HCCS IRAP, please contact senior managing director for workforce development Amy Mackenroth at 214-860-5722 or
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