Director of Communications
May 7, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College has created an annual award to recognize business and industry representatives for their work with GRCC students and participation on advisory committees.
Advisory committees are composed of business and industry representatives who possess the potential to hire students from their respective fields of study. They are also chosen for their ability to advise the college on the content of that particular curriculum and future directions for the workforce. GRCC’s School of Workforce Development works with several advisory committees, from manufacturing to nursing, business to criminal justice, and child development to dental.
TS Restaurants, which owns and operates 13 restaurants in Hawaii and California, will receive the inaugural Internship Employer of the Year Award during the annual advisory committee meeting on May 13.
Bob Schultz, a professor in GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, said TS Restaurants has provided internships for at least 15 GRCC students annually for the past 10 years.
Corporate executive chef Scott McGill said the company’s staff members want interns to learn what the restaurant business is really like.
“We try to expose them to as many areas of the business as we can, and challenge them beyond what they thought they were capable of,” he said. "We want their experience to stay with them forever — either continuing to work for TS, as many have, or as a reference for a point in their career path.
“For us, internship programs give TS a chance to give back to our craft. We are able to give someone an opportunity to be a part of our family and enjoy life at work and outside of work. Our company’s culture ensures the success. We feel that our locations give the intern an exciting place to be while learning. We go out of our way to make them feel welcome and a part of something special.”
Schultz said Secchia students get a bigger picture of the food and hospitality industry with TS Restaurants internships.
“The TS Restaurants staff gives our students a real sense of the importance of hospitality,” he said. "So many restaurants open and close every year. The establishments that do survive incorporate not only a passion for food but also service and quality. TS Restaurants is the epitome of hospitality, and young culinarians who do not experience this first hand by an employer or school will not continue their passion.”
SICE program director Dan Gendler said TS Restaurants is just one of the hundreds of employers that are providing GRCC students with valuable experiences.
“Our students are always excited to show what they can do, and these businesses and restaurants offer them a ‘real-world’ stage to do that,” he said.
“There are so many cooking opportunities for people and so many choices for students seeking a culinary school,” Schultz said. “The positive employment opportunities offered to our students is just one reason that the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education sets them up for a life-long, life-changing environment in the hospitality world.”
Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.