News Details

The Arc of the Bay Graduates Third Class of Culinary Institute Students on Friday, December 4, 2020.



Date: 2020/12/04

The Arc of the Bay graduated its third class of six Culinary Institute students on Friday, December 4,  2020.  


Alexis Fornecker, Roslyn Odom, Heather Horvath, Robert “Chris” Christien, Ryan Robertson, and Justin “Casey” Coleman were recognized as the program’s Winter 2020 graduates. Casey Coleman was also awarded the program’s Paul Ashman Award, an award that recognized his unwavering dedication to the program.


These students completed the 16 week-long culinary program and are now ready for employment in the food service industry.


“It is such a blessing to have our third round of students graduating from the Culinary Institute,” said The Arc of the Bay Executive Director Ron Sharpe. “I am excited to see opportunities unfold for our graduates as they use this training to gain employment in the hospitality and food service industry.” 


The Culinary Institute is a vocational-focused culinary arts program, created and operated by The Arc of the Bay. This program trains disabled individuals both in the classroom and on the job to get them “restaurant ready” in order to gain employment in the culinary field. While in this program, students learn “front and back of house” restaurant duties within a restaurant setting. 


As part of the training, the students also prepare for, and take, the StaffSafe certification— an industry-recognized credential. This certification assists students with gaining employment in the restaurant/food service industry once they complete the program. 


“The Arc of the Bay team has done a fantastic job piloting the Culinary Institute, and we are proud to partner alongside them do to it,” said CareerSource Gulf Coast Executive Director Kim Bodine. “Through this program, disabled individuals are getting training and opportunities that they may not have had otherwise. It is truly incredible.”   


For more information on the Culinary Institute, please contact The Arc of the Bay at or (850) 265-2951.


The Arc of the Bay is a non-profit agency that provides support and opportunities for adults with disabilities. To learn more about The Arc and the services it provides, visit


CareerSource Gulf Coast is a non-profit organization that provides free employment services to both employers and job seekers. For a detailed list of our offerings, visit or connect with us on social media via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.