BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo State College has created a program to help with the shortage of restaurant workers. The course is called "Rise Up Restaurants Ignite Skills and Education." It's a five week-long bootcamp with classes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m Monday through Wednesday.
"Part of the program, although we're here in this culinary lab, where they'll do their knife skills, and they'll do their sanitation and safety, when they go to Campus House, they're actually going to be in the white table cloth restaurant. They're going to learn the etiquette of service and what's required and expected," Kathleen O'Brien, the Department Chair of Hospitality and Tourism at Buffalo State College, said.
All eight participants in the pilot program had jobs as soon as those five weeks wrapped up, and have gone on to have even more success.
"Such as opening their own restaurant, such as branching out into something creative like a small business they can run right out of their home with the proper licensing, or even just getting promoted," O'Brien said.
The innkeeper at the Roycroft in East Aurora, Daniel Garvey, said job applicants with this kind of education stand out. The Roycroft is currently searching for employees.
"It's all the difference. I mean, there was a romance or a dedication or a passion for the hospitality industry so many years ago. It seems to have leveled out during the pandemic. I see it making a tremendous comeback. It's wonderful because many people can take this as a career," Garvey said.
The program can take up to 20 people. Most can participate for free through a partnership with WorkForce Buffalo.
"We'll get you an application and connect you with our partners at the Workforce Investment Board, who are going to provide a lot of benefits for participants so it comes at a little or no cost to them," O'Brien said.
The program starts May 31st. The deadline to register is May 23rd. You can find out how to apply here.