by Steve Vehorn, assistant director of Public Relations, Reynolds Community College
Reynolds Community College recently received a $100,000 grant from Capital One to bring more workforce opportunities, especially in culinary arts and hospitality, to Richmond’s East End.
The grant will assist in relocating the college’s culinary arts program from the Downtown Campus to a new development at 25th and Nine Mile Road in Church Hill. Scheduled to open in fall 2019, the culinary facility addresses the huge appetite for prep and line cooks, and other mid-level culinary professionals, essential for Richmond’s restaurant and hotel kitchens.
“What Capital One is helping us accomplish is so significant,” said Reynolds President Gary Rhodes. “Expanding the college’s footprint into the East End creates greater access to culinary workforce development and dozens of occupational and academic programs. This is a generous investment by Capital One and communities will benefit.”
Future Edge is Capital One’s five-year, $150 million investment in community grants and initiatives. Larry Doyle is Managing Vice President at Capital One and serves on Reynolds’ College Board. “Future Edge empowers more Americans to succeed in our economy and develop skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Seeing these dollars, which include scholarship funds, generate more job opportunities for our neighbors in the East End is inspiring.”
Richmond’s award-winning culinary scene has been recognized by National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler and Southern Living. Eateries such as L’Oppossum, The Roosevelt, Rappahannock and Sub Rosa Bakery are contributing to the movement and increasing the demand for more skilled culinary workers. Food is central to many of life’s moments. With this in mind, Capital One launched the Savor rewards credit card last year, which rewards customers more for food and dining purchases.
In an additional partnership, Reynolds is excited to have graduate students from the award-winning VCU Brandcenter developing a brand strategy for the college’s new footprint in the East End. The Brandcenter’s guidance will help position the facility and its culinary instruction nationally while ensuring the project gives voice to the Church Hill community.
“Residents and faith leaders continue to be key partners in efforts to bring more opportunities to the East End, and the VCU Brandcenter will help highlight their influence, along with what we’ve learned from restaurant owners in the area,” explained Bess Littlefield, Reynolds Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Strategic Partnerships. “Community feedback helps us offer a better instructional product for our students and benefits the employers who’ll hire them.” The culinary project’s new brand identity will be revealed in the near future.
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