Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Michigan Restaurant Association and ProStart partner with DPS to hire students, help them build careers

Greg Scott, standing, and Tanathan Nelson, seated left, speak to culinary students at Breithaupt Career and Technical Center about the many career options available to them. Scott and Nelson own multiple Popeyes Louisana Kitchen franchises in Detroit.

Detroit Public Schools’ Breithaupt Career and Technical Center is embarking on a unique partnership with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the Michigan Restaurant Association and ProStart, a national two-year program that prepares high school students for culinary careers.

Under the partnership, each of the 11 Popeyes restaurants in the DPS footprint will hire one student from Breithaupt’s award-winning culinary program and help them to develop their restaurant management and culinary skills, under the personal mentorship of the store’s general manager and/or owner.

“Our students will gain the competitive edge necessary to successfully compete in organized events, and in the local and global marketplace, which is attained through work-based learning experiences provided by industry partners and dedicated teachers working together,” said Vanessa Spencer, director of Breithaupt.

This partnership represents an unprecedented commitment from a restaurant chain to ProStart, which was created by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and whose efforts in Michigan are supported by the Michigan Restaurant Association’s Educational Support Foundation.

“Through Popeyes’ partnership with ProStart, it is our mission to cultivate the next generation of food-zealot restaurateurs and expose them to career opportunities in the Quick Service Restaurant industry,” said Alicia Thompson, Popeyes Vice President for Communications and Public Relations. “Our franchisees are foodservice management experts, and are excited to share their wealth of knowledge with culinary and restaurant management students in the Detroit ProStart program.”

“We are honored to serve our next generation of hospitality professionals hoping this type of mentoring will shine a light towards the right path,” said Popeyes franchise owner Tanathan Nelson.

The Michigan Restaurant Association’s Educational Support Foundation has facilitated the relationship between Breithaupt and Popeyes.

Breithaupt is among 66 culinary programs in Michigan that use the specialized ProStart curriculum, which is designed to give students more than 70 skills sought by employers in the hospitality and food service industries. Through the partnership with Popeyes, students will have the opportunity to apply their skills in real-life settings.

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