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Sinclair Community College and Ohio Living Launch Culinary Apprenticeship Program

Sinclair Community College and Ohio Living officially launched a culinary apprenticeship program on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at a special signing ceremony. Blake Leonard of Middletown signed his apprenticeship agreement and becomes Sinclair’s first Food Service Manager apprentice. Through his apprenticeship, Blake will take college courses at Sinclair while gaining valuable on-the-job training at Ohio Living Mount Pleasant in Monroe.

“Sinclair is proud to partner with ApprenticeOhio and Ohio Living to provide vital training students need to succeed on the job as we work together to build a highly skilled workforce for employers,” said Chad Bridgman, Director – Sinclair Community College Office of Work-Based Learning.

Apprenticeships are a “learn-while-you-earn” model that combine on-the-job training, provided by the employer that hires the apprentice, with job-related instruction provided by Sinclair.

Dana Ullom-Vucelich, Chief Human Resources Officer – Ohio Living stated, “There is much excitement within the Ohio Living workplace this year such as the fifth consecutive certification year as a Great Place to Work®, being nationally ranked in the top 25 on Fortune magazine’s list of Best Workplaces in Aging Services for 2022 and celebrating our 100-year anniversary in business.  Investing in our current and future workforce drives our great culture and we are excited to add Apprenticeship as a solution to bring value to both the organization and our teammates.”

Ohio Living Mount Pleasant Executive Director Stan Kappers commented, “I am proud to be part of the signing ceremony for our new apprentice, Blake Leonard, who has an excellent work ethic, a passion for culinary services and enthusiasm to grow his skills.” Ullom-Vucelich shared appreciation for the partnership with the Ohio Living Foundation and generous donors that make this and other priorities of Ohio Living’s Workforce Investment Strategy come to life.

Blake, a graduate of Monroe High School, will attend his college classes and work at Mount Pleasant to seize this opportunity to pair education and on-the-job training.

“I am grateful to Sinclair Community College and Ohio Living for this opportunity to grow my knowledge and skills in an industry that I love,” added Blake Leonard, Food Service Manager Apprentice. 

Sinclair Community College’s Apprenticeship Program officially launched in the 2018 Spring Semester. Sinclair is one of only 10 Ohio Community Colleges to be awarded a U.S. Department of Labor grant (via ApprenticeOhio), affording the opportunity to offer an apprenticeship program managed by a community college. 

Sinclair currently works with over 25 employers throughout the region and offers more than a dozen apprenticeship programs approved by ApprenticeOhio.

Learn more about apprenticeship opportunities through Sinclair’s Office of Work-Based Learning at:

Photo caption:

(L to R - Back Row) - Dr. Dave Collins, Senior Vice President - Workforce and Organizational Development, Sinclair Community College, Dawn Warner, Apprenticeship Coordinator - Sinclair Community College, Stan Kappers, Executive Director - Ohio Living Mount Pleasant

(L to R - Seated) - Sinclair College Office of Work-Based Learning Director Chad Bridgman with food service manager apprentice at Ohio Living Mount Pleasant, Blake Leonard