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Oklahoma ProStart®




What is Oklahoma ProStart®?

Oklahoma ProStart® is a school-to-career program developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). Oklahoma ProStart® is designed to introduce juniors and seniors to careers in the foodservice industry. Through classroom activities, internships, and comprehensive exams, students have the chance to earn
national certification.                                
                                                                                                                                                                                        
School-based Components
Oklahoma ProStart® is typically integrated into existing family & consumer science or career and technology education courses. The 2-year course includes classroom study utilizing professionally developed materials. Course materials include textbooks, student workbooks and exercises, videos, transparencies, and hands-on food preparation activities. The entire curriculum meets national skill standards and competencies specific to the hospitality industry and is approved and supported by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

Work-based Components
All Oklahoma ProStart® students are encouraged to complete a 400-hour paid, mentored internship and must complete it to earn the national certification. Students will typically work 10-20 hours per week in a variety of positions to develop a wide range of skills. A workplace mentor is assigned to meet with the student for approximately 30 minutes each week to provide on-going performance feedback, to review the ProStart® Competency Checklist and to connect classroom learning to actual job responsibilities.

National Certification
The ProStart® Certificate is awarded by the Educational Foundation of the NRA based on the student successfully completing both the academic and the work components of the ProStart® program. The certificate shows the industry that a student is motivated and interested in success. Certification is a major step that a student takes toward furthering his or her career.

Oklahoma ProStart® Student Invitational
The ProStart® Student Invitational competition will showcase the culinary and academic talents of more than 200 ProStart® students from high schools and technology centers across the state. The highlight of the Student Invitational is students participating in a team competition-style format in both the culinary and management competition. The winning teams from each competition will be awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals and scholarships to pursue post-secondary education. The winning high school teams in the culinary and management competition will represent Oklahoma at the national competition in Washington, DC in May. Industry professionals are also involved as team coaches and judges during the event.  All contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Any ProStart® student interested in competing should contact their high school or technology center instructor for more details. 

Why Should I Get Involved?
There are dozens of reasons to get involved with Oklahoma ProStart®:

Industry Owners and Operators

  • Access to interested and skilled employees
  • Use mentorships to develop current employees as mentors to students
  • Reduce turnover by motivating staff to be a part of a community-based project
  • Support, mentor training and development provided by the ORA
  • Increase community involvement and public relations


Educators

  • Easy to use, comprehensive teacher materials
  • Support and professional development provided by the ORA and ODCTE
  • Develop partnerships with local industry and businesses
  • Enhance resource materials through national affiliation


Students

  • Experience a fun and interesting class
  • Learn critical workplace skills
  • Develop a personal career portfolio through completion of course work
  • Gain exposure to industry leaders
  • Receive a nationally recognized certification
  • Increase access to college credit and scholarship opportunities


Who's Involved in Oklahoma ProStart®?
There are many Oklahoma schools already using ProStart®; yours could be next!

  • Caddo Kiowa Technology Center
  • Edmond Memorial High School
  • Edmond North High School
  • Edmond Santa Fe High School
  • Francis Tuttle Technology Center
  •  Great Plans Technology Center
  • John Marshall High School
  • Indian Capital Technology Center
  • Kiamichi Technology Center
  • Meridian Technology Center
  • Metro Technology Center
  • Nathan Hale High School
  • Northwest Classen High School
  • Northeast Technology Center, Afton
  • Northeast Technology Center, Pryor
  • Northwest Technology Center, Fairview
  • Pioneer Technology Center
  • Star Spencer High School
  • Tulsa Technology Center
  • Western Technology Center


How Can I Get Involved?
Incorporating ProStart® into your school is a simple process, beginning with the school purchase of ProStart® textbooks. Once the ProStart® curriculum is introduced in the classroom, teachers and students will receive support from ORA, including connecting the school to an industry mentor, providing scholarship opportunities, hosting the state competition, and offering professional development opportunities to educators. There is no annual fee or financial obligation. The level of support ORA offers a school depends on how active the school is in the ProStart® program. To learn more about the ORA's program or to take advantage of these wonderful benefits, contact Jim Hopper at (405) 942-8181 or via email at jim@okrestaurants.com.

What's Happening
06.02.21
The Oklahoma Restaurant Association, the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association, Moore/Norman Technology Center, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Norman, HeartLine and United Way of Central Oklahoma will host the Central Oklahoma Hospitality Job Fair. The job fair is free to the public and will take place on Friday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Moore/Norman Technology Campus, South Penn Campus located at 13301 South Pennsylvania Ave. A wide variety of hospitality jobs will be available including hotel guest services, waitstaff, culinary, banquets, housekeeping, attractions, maintenance, operations and management positions. The only registration required is for employers to secure a table at the job fair.
05.13.21
Odyssey de Culinaire is a fundraising and awareness dinner to benefit the Oklahoma ProStart® Program. This ever-popular event, which is open to the public, features 2 great evenings of dining with many of Tulsa and Oklahoma City's finest chefs being featured in their home cities. Each of the five courses features a chef mentoring a culinary student to treat attendees to an incredible five-course dinner. Experience an energetic evening and make an impact on culinary education in Oklahoma! Join us for one or both Odyssey de Culinaires - the Oklahoma Restaurant Association's only event open to the public!
06.07.21
The Culinary Cook-off is a cooking competition that takes place during the ORA Expo. Oklahoma's most talented chefs will race the clock to create dazzling dishes using a mystery basket of ingredients. Chefs will compete in various heats until the contest is narrowed down to the last two chefs. Judges will consist of a panel of industry professionals who will critique each competitor on plate presentation, creativity, product taste, and sanitation practices, among other things. For each contestant, the high and low scores will be discarded. Chefs will be competing for a trophy, medals, and cash prizes. Learn more by clicking the link! #CCO2021
06.07.21
Support Oklahoma’s most talented bartenders as they compete for prizes in the Oklahoma Restaurant Association Cocktail Shakedown. This exciting competition takes place during the first day of the ORA Expo. Bartenders from all over the state will put their skills and abilities to the test as they compete to move through four timed rounds of cocktail preparations including the Championship Round. As each bartender lifts a shaker and creates his or her requisite signature concoction, they race the clock to create innovative and crazy delicious cocktails that will be judged on taste and balance, originality, drink presentation, and stage presentation. Each round reduces the number of talented competitors until the four finalists compete for the grand prize! Applications will be available soon.
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