Magazine article Techniques

Hershey Helps Students Taste Their Future

Magazine article Techniques

Hershey Helps Students Taste Their Future

Article excerpt

IT TAKES ONE SWEET COMPANY TO MAKE AN INDUSTRY collaboration work! Hershey Entertainment and Resorts is that company! Hershey Entertainment and Resorts is best known for its resort and entertainment entities: Hershevpark Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge and the Giant Center, to name a few. As background, it is important to understand the philanthropic history of the company, Milton Hershel, and the town he built on chocolate.

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In 1903, Milton Hershey (1857-1945) began construction on what was to become the world's largest chocolate manufacturing plant. With Milton Hershey's success came a profound sense of moral responsibility. He built a community park in 1907, which has since expanded to become Hersheypark one of America's finest family theme parks.

Hershey's business success allowed him to practice extensive philanthropy. In 1909, he and his wife Catherine established a school for orphan boys, currently known as the Milton S. Hershey School. In 1918, Hershey endowed the school with his entire fortune. Today, the legacy and vision of Milton and Catherine Hershey lives on in the thou-sands of students, both boys and girls, and alumni of the school.

Reaching Out and Opening Doors

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts sponsors a program that targets second-arv students who have an interest in pursuing a career in the culinary field. In keeping with its founder's legacy, the company focuses on students who have the desire but may not have the means to pursue their dreams. The program, "A Taste of Your Future--One Sweet Culinary Experience," also puts a razor-sharp edge on the associated skills needed to be successful in this field, such as teamwork, collaboration and leadership. The two-day program was held for the second year last fall, bringing more than 100 students and teachers to Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The program is a partnership of numerous supporters, including Metro Tours, a student tour and travel operator that believes in helping students. Bud Geissler, vice president of Metro Tours, believes that by encouraging young-people to follow their passion, they will have a much better chance of being successful employees or employers.

"What Hershey is doing here is so exciting, and we are happy to be playing our role in opening doors for young people," exclaims Geissler.

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When the students arrived, they were greeted at Hershey's Giant Center by Bill Simpson, Hershey's president and chief operating officer, as well as a panel of employees with expertise in various operational areas. This panel offered insight into what it takes to succeed and become a leader in the hospitality industry. Simpson would know; he has played an influential role in leading Hershey Entertainment and Resorts through its most successful years in the company's history.

The first day's program also included a culinary presentation by United States Navy Corporate Chef Michael Harrants; a demonstration on edible centerpieces hosted by Charlie Gipe, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts' executive chef; a demonstration on cleaning and preparing salmon by Joseph Mishler, Devon Seafood's executive chef; and concluded with a pastry arts demonstration by Chef Brian Peffley. Chef Peffley's program at Lebanon County Career and Technology Center is the nation's first secondary pastry arts program to receive the American Culinary Federation's (ACF) certification. After the first day's presentations, Alan Lee, a student at Carrick High School in Pittsburgh, talked about how the presenters reinforced his career aspirations.

"The questions that people asked the presenters today helped me a lot because I want to be a business manager/restaurant owner. …

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