The County College of Morris (CCM) recently celebrated another exciting groundbreaking event, to benefit both students and the community. Last week a ceremony marked a unique partnership with the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, other area chambers and local area businesses leading to the development of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Culinary Science (CECS), spanning an impressive 11,325 square-feet of additions.
Meghan Hunscher, president and CEO, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the chamber’s relationship with the college, “It is a testament to how we can come together and collaborate and break down any silos that make exist. It’s about fulfilling our missions and fulfilling them together.”
The CECS will offer new and expanded programs in both business and culinary science. This innovative partnership will result in new opportunities for community members who seek to launch or scale their own business.
Hunscher also said, “This, in and of itself, is very entrepreneurial, a desire to fulfill a need or solve a problem. The Center for Entrepreneurship and Culinary Science will supply students of all ages and interests to successfully launch their business.”
The CECS will also be the home to CCM’s new Culinary and Hospitality Arts Institute of New Jersey (CHAI-NJ). The institute will focus on training executive chefs for the region’s many restaurants and provide a pipeline of qualified and well-educated employees. The expansion to the culinary science teaching and learning environment includes an impressive full-scale baker’s kitchen. An accelerated hospitality arts degree can also be earned through CCM Virtual Campus in as little as 18 months (starting in Spring 2024) with the potential to reach students on a global scale.
“This is our third new building in a matter of weeks,” George Milonas, ’98, chairman, CCM Board of Trustees said. “Today the culinary and entrepreneurial studies building represents another major milestone in our college’s journey to provide a cutting-edge learning environment for our students pursuing their dreams in the culinary industry and the entrepreneurial field.”
Milonas added, “It will serve as a hub for creativity, innovation, skill building, and the cultivation of future leaders, in these important industries in our ever-evolving world. This new building is to help inspire, educate, and fully support the next generation of top culinary masters and business visionaries.”
Anthony Iacono, president of CCM, expressed his enthusiasm about this one-of-a-kind center, stating, “Changing lives and strengthening communities means we listen to leaders around us who understand the changing needs of their industries and we partner with to meet the resources for those changing needs. At CCM, we are in the business of helping people be successful. CCM embraces its role as one of Morris County’s economic engines.”
Funding for The Center for Entrepreneurship and Culinary Science was made possible through support from state and county sources.
Aaron Fichtner president, New Jersey Council of County Colleges, gave his congratulations, also stating, “We look to CCM as a source of inspiration as we plot a very ambitious future for community colleges…. really inspiring us at the state level.”
“It’s not just a new building, it’s new programs,” Iacono said, “it’s not just new programs, it’s changing the lives of our students.”