By Larry Favinger
The Hannaford Center for Culinary Arts was officially opened Tuesday at York County Community College.
The new culinary arts center provides space for 32 students at one time, double the capacity of the old facility.
The Hannaford Charitable Foundation donated funds for the project supported by the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges. The community college foundation received $500,000 from Hannaford for this and other projects at the state’s other community college sites.
“This expansion allows us to better serve our students and provide well trained employees to local businesses,” said YCCC President Charles Lyons in a prepared release. “Hannaford’s financial support was a key to making this happen.”
Lyons did not attend the ribbon cutting ceremony as he is recovering from surgery.
Beth Newlands Campbell, Hannaford’s president, said the company’s donation was “an investment in our community” as it aids in educating the state’s work force.
Campbell noted the importance to the state of Maine of the hospitality industry adding that the York County Community College is helping train “the next generation” of those who will keep that industry healthy.
Charles Galemmo of the Culinary Arts Department said efforts were successful in upgrading the program but “we didn’t have the facilities” to match that upgrade. As an example he said it was difficult to teach 16 students how to sauté on only 12 burners.
“But now, thanks to Hannaford,” he continued, “we have facilities which gives them 40 burners” and those students each have their own workstations.
Beth Shorr, president of the Community College Foundation, said Hannaford has a history of support for the community college system. She termed the total donation of $500,000 “an incredible gift.”
Beth Walker, a student in the culinary program, and Shorr and Campbell cut the ribbon officially opening the new center.
In addition to added space much of the equipment was upgraded. These improvements included adding five 10-burner ranges, three 32-inch char broilers, a confectionery guitar cutter, an 1800-watt sugar lamp, and assorted chocolate molds.
Culinary arts is a 17-credit program that allows students to complete it in less than a year and could not be easily implemented without the renovations. Faculty is also exploring other new program concentrations that are now possible because of the renovations.
Based in Scarborough, Hannaford Supermarkets operates 179 stores in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. The company employs more than 26,000 associates.
The Hannaford Charitable Foundation was founded in 1994 providing financial support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the communities where Hannaford operates.
The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges is dedicated to ensuring that the state’s community colleges have the resources they need to provide a high quality, affordable, and accessible college education for Maine people.
York County Community College was established in 1994 and is one of seven community colleges in the Maine Community College System. It enrolls over 1,600 students in associate degree and transfer programs and over 2,500 individuals in non-credit continuing education and professional development areas.
Photo Caption: Beth Shorr, left, president of the Maine Community College Foundation, and Beth Newlands Campbell, president of Hannaford Supermarkets, take part in the opening of the Hannaford Culinary Arts Center at the York County Community College in Wells. (Photo courtesy of Larry Favinger)