Wor-Wic Responds to Culinary Training Needs
August 17, 2006

Hospitality is the fastest growing industry on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. In response to the educational and training needs of Ocean City and the local area, Wor-Wic Community College, the only community college serving Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties, continues to expand its campus and increase its program offerings.

Construction is underway on the college’s new workforce development center on the college campus in Salisbury, which is about 30 miles west of Ocean City. By the fall of 2007, construction will be complete, and Wor-Wic’s hotel-motel-restaurant management (HMR) program will relocate to the new building from its current off-campus location.

Coinciding with the move will be the introduction of a new credit program in Culinary Arts. The new program is designed to help support the local restaurant industry, which is growing to accommodate the increase in visitors to Ocean City and the growing Lower Shore population.

More than 120 students take HMR-related credit classes and another 440 are enrolled in HMR-related non-credit classes each year. Due to the popularity of the HMR-related non-credit courses, Wor-Wic expects to have some of its non-credit students cross over into the credit HMR or culinary program.

Graduates of Wor-Wic’s associate degree program have gone on to study HMR and Culinary Arts at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Johnson & Wales in Charlotte, N.C., and Baltimore International College. Students also transfer to nearby Salisbury University to earn accounting, business and marketing degrees that complement their HMR degrees from Wor-Wic.

Graduate follow-up surveys conducted by the Maryland Higher Education Commission revealed that more than 90 percent of Wor-Wic’s graduates remain in the community. Graduates who stay locally work in management positions at Carrabas, Fager’s Island, the Golden Sands Club, Majestic Hotel, Paul Revere and Tutti Gusti’s in Ocean City, the 707 Sport Grill in West Ocean City, Lighthouse Sound in Bishopville and Waterman’s Cove in Salisbury, to name a few. Some graduates teach HMR for high school vocational programs in Wicomico, Worcester and Dorchester counties.

The graduates who have ventured off the Lower Eastern Shore have become managers at major hotel chains, including the Hilton in Chicago, Ill., the Hyatt in St. Louis, Mo., and the Holiday Inn in Kissimmee, Fla.