WICHITA, KAN. — Cargill’s North American protein business granted $400,000 to WSU Tech, a Wichita-based technical school, for the creation of a new culinary arts campus.
The new National Institute of Culinary and Hospitality Education (NICHE) campus will be the center of learning for WSU Tech’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Events Management programs. Earlier this year, WSU Tech broke ground on the new campus, which will feature commercial kitchens, classrooms, a demonstration kitchen and a public food hall.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Cargill as a partner in this new venture known as NICHE,” said Sheree Utash, president of WSU Tech. “We believe Cargill’s involvement will elevate all aspects of this project and the associated academic programs. Their commitment to innovation and sustainability directly aligns with our values, and we know their investment will have a positive impact on student experience and outcomes.”
Cargill’s donation will help fund the demonstration kitchen, professional equipment and scholarships for under-represented students looking to join the program.
The program is intended to equip students for foodservice and hospitality industry jobs through training across food and beverage operations, in menu development and in customer service.
“Our culinary team is deeply engaged with WSU Tech, supporting curriculum development and serving as adjunct faculty,” said Chef Pete Geoghegan, culinary director of Cargill’s North American protein business. “We are proud to grow our support providing physical and financial resources to ensure students have the opportunity and access to the skills and training to pursue a rewarding career in culinary arts and hospitality.”
In addition to the WSU Tech funding, Cargill Protein donated $100,000 to Wichita-based non-profit Empower to help revitalize the North End neighborhood by providing the local Hispanic community resources for workforce and business skills.