The Greenville Technical College Center for Culinary and Hospitality Innovation (CHI) is an innovative approach that includes private sector, government, and education partners working together to bring inclusive economic mobility and workforce development to one of Greenville’s most distressed neighborhoods. CHI will provide a neighborhood-based venue that delivers education, personal interest courses, small business and start-up incubator space, and job training in the heart of the community.
Greenville has neighborhoods, like West Greenville, where a higher concentration of poverty limits the opportunities for people to participate in a prosperous society. The strategic location of CHI is a purposeful investment for targeted economic growth in a low- and moderate-income community with a high concentration of jobs in the downtown area.
CHI’s model will address the following several unique needs in this community.
Strategic Location/Access: CHI’s strategic location and access to public transportation is vital for its success, as it provides optimal opportunity for low-income residents to access job training that leads directly to employment in a growing sector offering career pathways for all individuals of all ages and backgrounds. At the same time, the location near downtown will promote employer engagement in development of training programs as well as access to a ready pool of well-trained prospective employees – all within 2.5 miles of CHI.
Job Training Program Quality: As the community college partner, Greenville Technical College has a well-established track record of meeting the needs of adult learners across the educational spectrum, from those with personal challenges such as a criminal record, to single parents juggling family and work responsibilities while trying to take advantage of educational opportunity. Greenville Technical College has a well-developed short-term job training model, Quick Jobs with a Future, which has proven to be very successful in training and placing adults in employment.
Affordability & Training Costs: Greenville Technical College works closely with SC Works, the local federally-funded workforce development board, to tap federal job training funds whenever possible. Through SC Works funding, training at CHI will be available at no cost or low cost to students. Greenville Technical College also accesses state-funding for job training scholarships whenever possible. Currently, Greenville Technical College’s Workforce Pathways Scholarships are available to students in both short-term job training as well as longer-term academic credit-based programs. As part of the college mission to serve all residents of Greenville County, Greenville Technical College strives to make job training and education affordable.
Career & Educational Pathways: CHI will provide pathways for job training participants to continue their career and educational journey beyond short-term training. Quick Jobs with a Future was developed to avoid career dead-ends. Currently, the culinary and hospitality fields are growing across the county, region, and state. Beyond plentiful job openings, these industries provide an on-ramp to the workforce from line crew or other entry level kitchen positions to higher paying management and event corporate jobs. Greenville Technical College will insure that short-term programs at CHI will help move students forward to higher levels of educational attainment through stackable credentials.