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James City County (JCC) Economic Development has been recognized by the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA) with a Community Economic Development Award (CEDA). The CEDA program recognizes the best practices and exceptional contributions of communities for efforts in business retention and expansion, business recruitment, community development and community involvement. The award was received during the 2019 VEDA spring conference.JCC Economic Development submitted the ChefsGO program for the 2019 CEDA program and won the Category IV CEDA. CEDA is broken into different population categories and Category IV is a population of 40,001-100,000. Altogether, 11 nominations were received for the 2019 CEDA program in four population categories.ChefsGo is a culinary workforce development program that provides 13 weeks of classroom and kitchen training taught by renowned, professionally-trained local chefs in partnership with Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC). Students participate in a four-month externship at a restaurant following the classroom portion and are paid for their work. Classes are interactive and intensive, equipping students with foundational culinary techniques and knowledge.The program was developed after a need was identified from culinary businesses in the Greater Williamsburg region for experienced culinary workforce including line cooks and prep cooks. JCC Economic Development spearheaded the initiative with TNCC’s Historic Triangle campus and Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools (WJCC). The program allows participants to explore working in the culinary field and allows them to enter the workforce at a higher entry point than those with no formal culinary education who enter the culinary workforce as dishwashers.“We are thrilled that ChefsGO was recognized by the CEDA program. ChefsGO is a successful community-based workforce development program and without the commitment of localities, TNCC, WJCC, a multitude of donors and sponsors, and most importantly the chefs, we would not be able to do this program,” said Allison Patterson, ChefsGO program coordinator.CEDAs are awarded based on innovativeness, transferability, community commitment and leverage, measured objectives and secondary benefits.For more information about the CEDA program, please visit the CEDA website. For more information about VEDA, please visit its website. For more information about ChefsGo, visit the TNCC website.Media Contact:Amy Jordan, Director of Economic Development757-253-6607; email@example.com