News Release

Published on Monday, January 24, 2005

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Second-year students in the Culinary Management program at Western Wisconsin Technical College (WWTC) are learning what it takes to make it in the food service industry - not from books or lecture, but from local experts in the field.

This student mentoring program has become a popular addition to the culinary curriculum for both the students and the participating businesses. Classes have just gotten underway, and already the students have selected their mentors from a list of 26 La Crosse area businesses representing all aspects of the food service industry.

“I am delighted with the number of industry personnel who have volunteered to work with the students,” said Deb Klug, WWTC Culinary Management instructor. “It’s wonderful to see the overwhelming support locally for our program and our students from these mentors.”

This year’s pool of mentors includes representatives from Stansfield Vending, Outback Steakhouse, Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Reinhart Foodservice, the School District of Onalaska, Three Rivers Lodge, Taylor’s Café, Kwik Trip, Piggy’s Restaurant, Villa St. Joseph, the School District of La Crosse, South Avenue A&W, Stockman’s Inn, Culina Mariana, and Rottinghaus Corporation (Subway).

Each student selects one mentor for the semester. They are required to meet with their mentors on three separate occasions and have one job shadow experience.

“In addition to acquainting students with the various segments of the industry, the Student Mentoring program provides a support system to answer questions and address professional concerns, provides quality role modeling, and directly connects our students with the professional food service industry,” said Klug. “It’s also a great opportunity for businesses to train and retain students in this community.”

To learn more about the WWTC Culinary Management program or additional WWTC programs and services, please call 608-785-9200 or visit the Web site at