By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Feb 04, 2016 at 2:14 PM

According to the National Restaurant Association, service industry jobs account for one out of every 10 jobs in Wisconsin. Now, thanks to a new two-year culinary program starting this fall in Milwaukee Public Schools, students will soon be able to get a head start on future careers in the hospitality industry.

The program, which was officially launched this morning at Washington High School of Information Technology, will be added to four Milwaukee high schools, including Washington, Bay View High School, James Madison Academic Campus and Harold S. Vincent High School.

Students at each school will take part in the ProStart program, a curriculum created by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation specifically designed for high school students.

The program focuses on real world experiences – along with mentorship from area restaurant staff – in both culinary and service management to help prepare students for careers as chefs or in other areas of restaurant management and food service. The program would also better prepare students for entry into culinary programs, including those at MATC.

Industry involvement will include participation from entities including the Bartolotta Restaurant Group, SURG Restaurant Group and Hospitality Democracy – all of whom will support the program in various ways.

A fundraising campaign is expected to be launched later this spring to assist in defraying costs for the ProStart program.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.