New Orange County FoodTEC program gets $1.125 million in Federal Community Projects Funding

Middletown. FoodTEC, a new program, is intended to provide workforce training for food, beverage and hospitality sectors to improve employment opportunities.

| 03 Jan 2023 | 10:11

With training courses already in the works for this spring, Orange County FoodTEC’s blueprint for stoking growth in regional food, beverage and hospitality sectors by building a skilled local workforce received a significant shot in the arm this holiday season when Congress included $1.125 million in Community Projects Funding for FoodTEC as part of the federal government’s 2023 fiscal year omnibus spending package.

A newly created not-for-profit aligned with SUNY Orange, Orange County FoodTEC will use the funds to accelerate the work it has recently begun to provide workforce training and related skills programming in support of the region’s food, beverage and hospitality sectors. Orange County FoodTEC is a workforce and skills development training and education center at SUNY Orange that ultimately will combine a commercial kitchen, classroom space and training event space into a flagship hub for the college’s food, beverage and hospitality workforce program.

The acquired federal funds, appropriated by the U.S. Department of Education, will catalyze FoodTEC’s efforts to develop course curricula, hire and train faculty and staff, provide student support in the form of free general workforce readiness training, and offer accommodations for non-traditional students to support childcare and other needs.

FoodTEC’s request for CPF funds was submitted to Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s office for review in February. Maloney endorsed the request, including it among 15 projects his district forwarded to the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Community Project Funding (CPF) allows members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit the communities they represent. CPF is separate from federal grants and funding apportioned by formula to states or awarded by federal agencies.

“I have every confidence we are now armed with the foundational resources to bring our FoodTEC vision to reality for the benefit of our friends and neighbors who are currently working in the food, beverage and hospitality sectors,” said Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president and chair of the FoodTEC Board of Directors.

Orange County FoodTEC is intended to reduce adult and youth unemployment/underemployment and provide for additional employment in Orange County and the region.

Under the direction of Executive Director Jhack Sepulveda, FoodTEC is preparing to open a modest offering of food safety training courses this Spring. Longer-term planning calls for food industry certificate training, general workforce readiness training, mid- and upper-level management training, apprenticeships, entrepreneurial support and resources, and food-based community development

For more information, contact Sepulveda at (845) 341-9518 or at

In addition to Sepulveda, FoodTEC is guided by a five-member Board of Directors and supported by an advisory board of industry and sector leaders including representatives from Amy’s Kitchen, Council of Industry, Love Your Neighbor Community (LYNC), Legoland New York Resort, Foster Supply and Hospitality, Levy Restaurants, Pepsico, and Resorts World Catskills.