The New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) announced that it'll accept applications and nominations for its newest Pathways for Upward Mobility Program (PUMP) program. This eight-week program is designed to mentor people of color seeking leadership positions in the hospitality industry.
Students will receive hands-on lessons on entrepreneurial skills that are valuable to the hospitality industry, such as financial viability, operations, and company culture. They'll also take home the tools necessary in encouraging a more inclusive workplace, such as relationship building and inclusion training.
NOCHI workforce training and development manager Marquita White will be leading PUMP.
"We developed PUMP in order to educate, empower, and build confidence among BIPOC service industry workers," White said.
White said that the hospitality industry has about only three percent of people of color in leadership roles. She, along with NOCHI staff, hope that PUMP will create more lucrative, stable, and equitable careers.
"We created PUMP to change this paradigm and promote positive hospitality culture," White said.
In addition to PUMP, NOCHI offers 100-day certificate programs for students interested in culinary arts. The Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts program gives students about four weeks of intensive, hands-on training in an interactive setting where they learn about culinary math, restaurant planning, and business management. Tickets for NOCHI's Cheese & Wine for Valentine's and King Cake Workshops are also available.
According to Executive Director Leah Sarris, contributions made by people of color help shape New Orleans's culinary culture and make the city not only a tourist destination but also a great place to work.
"At NOCHI, we aim to be a hospitality hub by offering relevant, accessible, and innovative educational opportunities for everyone in the industry," Sarris said. "With PUMP, our vision is to empower and advance these BIPOC workers by offering valuable training, support, and professional networks."
Applications and nominations for PUMP are now open to everyone who's interested. They're due by Thursday, February 17. The next cohort will kick off on Monday, March 7.