ALBANY, GA – Albany Technical College Culinary Arts will host a special program showcase on Friday, March 15, 2018, 10 a.m., Logistics Education Center (LEC), Room 112. On hand for the event will be current and former students, faculty, staff, and area employers such as Austin’s Fire Grill, Doublegate Country Club, and The Bread House. The employers will highlight the economic importance of the food industry in this region and the partnerships that have been built between the local food industry and Culinary Arts at Albany Tech. The morning’s program also will feature culinary demonstrations and testimonials from several successful program graduates now working in the industry.

According to the United States Bureau for Labor and Statistics, employment in culinary professions is expected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026. Officials say that growth rate is considerable when compared to all professions measured. In May 2017, the mean wage in the state of Georgia for chefs and head cooks was $45,480 or $21.86 per hour. The mean annual salary in the U.S. was $49,650 with 131,430 people employed.

The Albany Tech Culinary Arts degree, diploma, and technical certificates of credit are a sequence of courses that prepare students for culinary careers. Learning opportunities develop academic, occupational, and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. The program emphasizes a combination of culinary theory and practical application necessary for successful employment.

Todd White, Albany Tech’s Culinary Arts Department Chair, commented, “The outlook for this career field is exciting and robust for those willing to put in the work and develop their creativity and skill set. Many people in this field learn their skills through work experience and that is important. However, our curriculum gives our graduates an edge, boosting their career potential in the industry.”

Chef White continued, “From working as a chef to product development, the food industry is a wide open field.  Our curriculum and hands-on training provides all the skills needed for a successful career in this business.”

In 2018, Chef White was named as a Georgia Grown Executive Chef. Created in 2011, the Georgia Grown Executive Chef program was created in by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Georgia Restaurant Association, to promote and foster relationships between chefs and farmers. White was one of only seven chefs tapped from across the state and the only chef named to the group in 2018 from the Technical College System of Georgia. In June of last year, all of the Georgia Grown chefs were invited to prepare a Southern feast made up of locally sourced ingredients at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. The mission of the James Beard House and Foundation is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable. The late James Beard is lauded as the “dean of American cookery” and is also known as the “first foodie.”  Beard laid the groundwork for the food revolution that propelled the U.S. to the forefront of global gastronomy based on fresh, wholesome, and locally sourced ingredients.

Dr. Anthony Parker, President of Albany Technical College, said, “Albany Technical College is committed to the process of training and placing our graduates in decent jobs with health and retirement benefits and jobs that have decent salaries. Working relationships with employers is a very important part of the process. Connecting our graduates to good jobs is our focus.” Dr. Parker added that Albany Tech has an excellent record in the job placement arena with an in-field placement rate of 95.3% and a job placement rate of 99% across all college programs.

About Albany Technical College

A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to or become a fan on Facebook at or on Twitter at You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting .