The Marion Regional Career Center offers high school students from Grant County practical ways to learn beneficial skills for the workforce. One of the newer opportunities for students is the Giant Bistro, which opened in October of 2016.
The bistro serves as a way to teach high school students in Grant County culinary arts.
Mike Ripperger, director of the Marion Regional Career Center said that the Giant Bistro has brought even more success than they had originally expected.
“The community has done a great job of rallying behind it, and visiting and supporting the Giant Bistro,” Ripperger said.
Because of the success they have experience, the students have been able to give back part of what they have earned to the community.
The first semester it was open, 10 percent of the proceeds went to help a high school club. This semester, those donations have been opened up to nonprofits in Grant County.
“(The Giant Bistro) just gives (students) so much more experience … to what they would see in the real world,” Ripperger said.
Students in the culinary arts program spend around two and a half hours a day working at the Giant Bistro. The rest of the school day they spend at their respective high schools. The program offers dual credit, meaning the students in the program get both high school and college credit through Vincennes University.
“The kids are running the actual restaurant themselves,” Ripperger said. “The kids come up with the menu, they come up with the cost of each item, they make the food, they are the ones waiting the tables, cleaning the dishes. They’re doing everything that they would have to do if they owned their own restaurant one day.”
The Giant Bistro will close for the summer on May 5.