Sean M. Rush Vice President of Shular Hospitality Group has jumpstarted a new apprenticeship opportunity in Milwaukee focused on training participants in the culinary arts. The new apprenticeship named Brigade MKE is a branch of the Shular Institute, a nationally recognized program for young people in the Atlanta area that offers its participants training in culinary arts and hospitality.
The program comes as a result of the partnership between the Shular institute and PRISM. PRISM is known for its commercial kitchen initiative, UpStart Kitchen, which provides space for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. The Brigade MKE apprenticeship marks the start of a 10-year process it will seek to provide youths with a high-quality education, a skill set, and mentorship as well as opportunities to pursue their own personal interests.
“Traditional culinary pathing takes you, class, by class by class,” Rush said. “Our education is like a sport; you can’t be a professional athlete if you don’t actually get out and play. We’re showing them where they can go through mentorship and through example,” he said. “I always felt that culinary and hospitality was a great bridge to help the income inequality that’s in our community.”
Sean M. Rush, Vice President at Shular Hospitality Group
The Shular Institute and PRISM are at the heart of the project, but their partnerships extend into the community and include other culinary groups and institutions such as Milwaukee Area Technical College. The initial apprenticeship is reserved for participants between the ages of 14 to 18 and will start as a summer program with two to three-day camps. Participants will receive a certification in culinary arts and a food handling certification from the American Culinary Federation.
For individuals ages 18 to 24, Brigade MKE will offer longer programming, ranging from six weeks to six months. This programming will go more in-depth and is for those who are more serious about pursuing a career in this field. Its final section of programming covers an advanced-level course with a focus on fine-casual and fast-casual dining. Their ultimate goal is to create a program that is a restaurant-based model similar to one they have created in Atlanta.