MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Works and Northern Michigan University put on a talent tour Friday morning to showcase the skills needed to get a job in food service.
Forty students from Marquette Alternative High School and Marquette Alger RESA took a tour of one of the kitchens at NMU to learn about what it takes to work in the industry.
"It's an opportunity for the students to see firsthand what it entails in order to work in that capacity, and hopefully they'll become interested," said Tom Jayne, a Michigan Works UPWARD Talent Council Training Specialist. "Hopefully we spark a student or so."
NMU food service employs more than 700 people a year. Many of them are high school or college students.
"There's always a need, I'm told, for student employees here," said Jayne. "And if you can get in at the high school level, maybe they come to school at Northern Michigan University and continue to work, and it could become a career."
Three students who took the tour are already employed in the NMU food service department.
"I've always wanted to work in food service, in a restaurant, so I wanted to give Northern a try, and it's working out pretty well," said Samantha Swenor, who works at the Wildcat Den.
Kara Niskanen also works at the den.
"It's been going really well," said Niskanen. "Everyone is really nice to me, I get to work with somebody in my class, which is really nice."
Presenters spoke about the skills necessary to be in the food service industry, plus the soft skills it takes to be an overall good employee, like being on time.
"We can teach you the hard skills, how to serve food, but it's how you present yourself before, during and after work that's really, I believe, what they're stressing today," said Jayne.
At the end of the tour, students could fill out applications that NMU will review to see if students can come back for an interview.