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Culinary & Hospitality Academies with ProStart

As Minnesota’s vacationland, the hospitality industry is one of the top employers in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The region is teeming with resorts and restaurants looking for workers who understand what the service industry is all about and who are willing to learn new skills and discover new opportunities. Enrolling in select Bridges Career Academies will help prepare students for these high demand jobs and set the base for future career growth.

How it works

Bridges’ Career Academy offers sequential and integrated courses taught at your high school that offers knowledge and skills in a specific career field. Each course teaches technical skills, employability skills and has a real-world business experience.

Hospitality and/or culinary focused Academies at the following schools have been enhanced by incorporating in ProStart curriculum and strengthening the local industry connection.

Visit your school’s page to learn more about this Bridges Career Academy and find out how to enroll.

Industry Partnership

ProStart is a powerful program of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation that focuses on practical curriculum, industry connections and hands-on work experience. The curriculum blends front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house experiences. Starting with an overview of the industry, students will learn kitchen essentials – including equipment and culinary techniques – and management essentials like communication and customer service.

Exploring hospitality careers from chef to the business and management side, this program combines interactive and group instruction to help students master basic culinary techniques and management skills. Students will also build work-readiness skills, like teamwork, professionalism, time management, communication, and the ability to think on their feet. Students will work alongside a professional chef while learning about nutrition, preparing and serving food, and restaurant operationA heavy emphasis is placed on safety and sanitation, including preparing and serving safe food and preventing accidents and injuries.

In addition to specialized training for high school instructors from ProStart leaders, these schools will experience upgraded equipment and facilities to offer students the latest tools.

This new Bridges Career Academies/ProStart program offers students:

  • A strong academic foundation AND marketable skills.
  • A successful professional mentor for each school, offering a vital connection for students needing a reference or referral for that first job.
  • The ability to earn a certificate and receive an honor cord and special recognition at high school graduation.
  • “First in line” opportunities for local hospitality jobs and internships
  • The opportunity to participate in state and national competitions (depending on the high school’s program)
  • Eligibility for industry scholarships (depending on the high school’s program)

These new programs launched with support from the Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection and it's partners: the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Central Lakes College, the Minnesota Chamber, Hospitality Minnesota, and our region’s industry leaders.

For more information, contact:

Mary Gottsch, (218) 822-7117
Bridges Executive Director


Industry Partners


Program Partners

Videos about each High School's program