NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) With labor shortages and other economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect industries like hospitality, a free training program at Smith Vocational High School in Northampton hopes to get more young adults learning about the culinary arts.

Lenora Turner, Adult Education Director at Smith Vocational High School, said the program fits not only the needs of the restaurants that are short staffed but also young adults who need a job. “We do understand that a lot of restaurants have had a lot of short staffing. We felt like this would be the best program to be most successful for the community to actually train individuals that really looking to start a career in culinary.”

The program is meant to prepare people for work in the restaurant industry as entry level prep cooks or line cooks.