Northern Essex Community College is receiving $2 million to build a hospitality and culinary arts program in downtown Haverhill, complete with retail space.
The state is expected to issue a request for proposals this week to solicit bids for a downtown space for the program.
Plans call for new construction of culinary labs, computer lab, classroom space and multi-use function and retail space in the downtown dining district. The $2 million is comprised of $1 million in state bond funding and $1 million in the new state budget secured by Haverhill Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Dempsey previously secured $1 million in the 2017 state budget for the initial phase of the program expansion.
“I am excited that we were able to secure funding that will bring Northern Essex Community College downtown and expand upon the Haverhill campus,” said Dempsey. “Training in the restaurant and hospitality fields is in high demand right now and I’m happy that we are introducing new and exciting educational opportunities and bringing an energized and vibrant student life to downtown Haverhill.”
Northern Essex will partner with Endicott College, Beverly; Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School; and Merrimack Valley employers.
A little more than a year ago, WHAV reported college trustees were studying the possibility of partnering with Endicott College in downtown Haverhill. Endicott offers a School of Hospitality Management. That program provides students with three internship experiences along with classroom learning.
In March, the college received a $150,000 state grant to purchase and install commercial restaurant equipment including countertop stoves, ranges, convection ovens, fryers, griddles, mixers, walk-in cooler and freezer and banquet tables and chairs. In addition, computers with hotel and restaurant related software will be used to train students in the areas of inventory control, recipe building, event planning and hotel management.
Northern Essex President Lane A. Glenn said “We are thrilled that Rep. Dempsey and our state legislature have recognized the very positive impact this program will have on the Merrimack Valley economy, and we’re looking forward to having a presence in downtown Haverhill and preparing local residents for culinary and hospitality careers.”
The college currently offers an associate degree in Business Management, Hospitality Option, and is planning to offer a culinary arts certificate program in the fall of 2018. These programs are aimed at meeting employer demands for skilled hospitality help.