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Culinary Academy

Since its implementation in 2003, the Department of Corrections' Culinary Academy has trained almost 300 inmates in basic food service skills to prepare them for jobs following their release.

This nine-week program provides intensive instruction in food handling and food preparation skills needed for employment in the food service industry.
Culinary Academy - inmate at stove.jpg
Students in the Culinary Academy:

• Develop basic skills for preparing, soups and stocks, starches, vegetables and proteins

• Learn essential techniques in bread baking, cake baking and decorating

• Are selected through a competitive program that requires a high school diploma or GED

• Receive a ServSafe Certificate

Graduates are now working as line cooks, prep cooks, kitchen managers and chefs at a variety of restaurants and institutions. The main Culinary Arts Program for male inmates is located at the DOC’s Training Academy in Elizabethtown. SCI Waymart also runs a culinary program. SCI Muncy is currently renovating and expanding its kitchen to accommodate a new Culinary Academy for female inmates.
 
Culinary Academy - Muncy kitchen.jpg
 
 
 
  Muncy's new kitchen.

 
 
 
 
 
Muncy's Restaurant Trades Program
is Up and Running!
 

On June 14, 2018, SCI Muncy held an open house for its newly-established Restaurant Trades vocational program, at which an extensive cross section of staff enjoyed an array of homemade cookies made from scratch by the eight culinary students.  

Newly hired Restaurant Trades Instructor Robert Wheeler III kept visitors engaged by explaining the construction of the commercial kitchen -- from the newly-poured seamless floors and the stainless-steel countertops to the new commercial gas range.  Wheeler undoubtedly knows the importance of this program. He started his career over 23 years ago, first serving as a food service instructor and then as a food service supervisor at SCI Muncy for the past 16 years. He gave emphasis that this vocational program is the groundwork for a fulfilling career if the reentrants take the knowledge learned and apply it when released. 

Mirroring that of SCIs Camp Hill and Waymart, the students must meet specific requirements to be considered for the program, after which the students are on a probation period and must pass the ServSafe test to continue.   

The hands-on learning is sequentially structured to cover basic kitchen equipment safety, stocks and sauces, pan sautéing, baking and much more. 

SCI Muncy also will incorporate a restaurant hospitality component and cake decorating to the curriculum.  

The first round of students were given the task of naming the culinary space.  Superintendent Wendy Nicholas commented that "Second Chance Café" was befitting and views the Restaurant Trades vocational program as just that, a second chance to a new beginning.

 
 
 
 
Employers interested in learning more about this program or the inmates who completed the course should email the DOC at
ra-contactdoc@pa.gov.