Nashua Community College Cooks Up Kindness in New Hampshire

Students studying hospitality and restaurant management and culinary arts hone their skills throughout the community at hotels, eateries, and soup kitchens

Nashua, N.H. – Students enrolled in Nashua Community College’s (NCC) Hospitality and Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts associate degree programs are learning the real-world skills they’ll need to run a commercial kitchen or manage a hotel by working with industry partners throughout the community. These partners offer resources and expertise, while also helping fulfill future employment needs.

Culinary resources include restaurants, shops, and charitable organizations like the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, The Salvation Army, and the Front Door Agency, enabling students to sharpen their skills while helping others. Along with hosting student workers, partner organizations also offer internships, job opportunities, mentorship, and a connection to the latest trends in hospitality.

“Our business partners bring immense experience, expertise, and knowledge of industry standards to the table,” said Cheryl Hirni, NCC’s program coordinator for its hospitality, restaurant management and culinary arts programs. “They help our students graduate at the top of their game and are always there for them if they need assistance.”

And that assistance works both ways.

The programs work with The Nashua Soup Kitchen, where students prepare all side dishes for the organization’s Thanksgiving dinner, and Front Door Agency, where culinary arts students participate in its annual Gourmet Festival fundraiser.

NCC is also involved year-round with The Salvation Army, where students help with a variety of volunteer activities, including the Apple Fest at Sullivan Farm on Saturday, September 24. NCC students prepared apple crisp, which was sold to festival-goers, and its proceeds will aid social services.

The many options available to students through NCC’s programs provide a holistic look at the diverse hospitality industry, which currently represents the second-largest employment sector in the United States, and a major part of a rapidly-growing services sector of the economy. As part of the programs’ curriculum, students are required to participate in a 120-hour offsite internship, during which, they receive training in business, management, behavioral science, communication and technology skills. This combination of hands-on experience and academics enables graduates to quickly move into a culinary or hospitality career, or to transfer to a four-year institution in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

When it comes to current and future industry needs, NCC looks directly to its community partners for guidance.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua provides internships and employment opportunities for NCC hospitality and culinary arts students, currently employs a handful of NCC grads and is also a large supporter of the school’s fundraiser, Swing into Spring.  The hotel also serves an advisory role to the college.

LaBelle Winery in Amherst and Whole Foods in Nashua are two of the program’s newest partners. Both plan to offer internship and employment opportunities and plan to work together at community events.

At Nashua Country Club, NCC students serve as interns and have become employees. The club directly supports the program by donating restaurant equipment and also serves an advisory role to the college.

Vesper Country Club in Tyngsboro, Mass. provides internship opportunities and its head chef is an adjunct professor at NCC.

Michael Timothy’s Dining Group, through its network of restaurants across New Hampshire, provides mentorship to students and hires many of NCC’s graduates for a variety of employment opportunities.

A&E Coffee Roastery and Tea partnered with NCC to supply the campus’ coffee, and even co-created an exclusive coffee (the 505 Blend) for the school. The Roastery’s Amherst location was started with help from an NCC program graduate. The Roastery also serves an advisory role to the college.

Additionally, Harvest Bread Co. in Nashua serves an advisory role to the college.

To learn more about the many ways NCC works with organizations in the community or about its innovative Hospitality and Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts associate degree programs, visit nashuacc.edu.

About Nashua Community College 

Since 1970, Nashua Community College has been successfully meeting the educational needs of the Greater Nashua area through providing a high quality two-year, post-secondary education. The college partners closely with area industries that provide students with a unique perspective in their fields of study, allowing for a real-world experience to further their academic journey. Students can choose from a variety of associate degree and certificate programs, with six of their programs now being offered online. Nashua Community College is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65 percent of New Hampshire citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.