First Culinary Apprenticeship by A-B Tech, Givens Estates Proves Successful

Asheville — A new culinary apprenticeship offered by A-B Tech Community College and Givens Estates, the first of its kind in the region, has announced its first successful candidate completion.

Caitlyn Wright, of Asheville, concluded the apprenticeship and has earned both a Culinary Studies Certificate and a Journey Worker Certificate. 

The apprenticeship was launched in August 2021 as the first under A-B Tech’s new Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships Department formed to help regional employers build a skilled workforce through on-the-job learning and related classroom instruction. The launch of this program coincided with the senior living community’s $8 million investment in dining and culinary services for residents and guests, with three restaurants on the Givens Estates campus in South Asheville.

Cathy Horton, A-B Tech’s chair of Culinary and Hospitality Management, said at the time, “In my opinion, this can be a way for employers to set themselves apart from the competition. Offering a student or employee the opportunity to earn an education and knowing that they have their employer’s support is a tremendous incentive for loyalty. A formalized apprenticeship is a win-win for everyone!” 

Apprenticeship programs are considered an attractive and innovative means for building an efficient workforce of adaptable, skilled individuals and are part of a growing trend in developing work-ready talent.

“Apprenticeships acquire sought-after skills and launch a career. Apprentices earn state and national credentials certifying their skills while helping an employer build a skilled workforce that meets their specific needs,” said Debbie L. Cromwell, Director of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships at the community college.

“Successful registered apprenticeship programs rely on partnerships,” Cromwell said. “A-B Tech is proud to have partnered with Givens by providing the required Job-Related Education/Instruction for this ‘first in the region’ culinary apprenticeship. We look forward to many more success stories.” 

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