© Copyright 2006 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 42 No. 11

Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts: Two Career Paths for Wyoming Youth

by: Sara Saulcy, Senior Economist

Over the short term, most high school students and graduates do not immediately step into high paying occupations, regardless of industry. Firms in hospitality industries offer potential long-term career paths. The Wyoming Hospitality Alliance Mentoring program, sponsored by the Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association, gives high school students a head start in these industries.

The Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning (R&P) Section recently completed its first study of the employment outcomes of Wyoming high school students. The study focused on 173 high school students who participated in the Wyoming Hospitality Alliance Mentoring (WHAM) program during the 2002-2003 school year.

In conjunction with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association (WLRA) established the WHAM program. The WHAM program features high schoolbased training in the fields of culinary arts (the ProBaking program) and hospitality management (the ProStart program). From the employer’s perspective, the program yields workers likely to seek employment in hospitalityrelated industries. For WHAM participants, the program appears to have a positive impact on earnings compared to a similar group of individuals who did not participate in the program.

Furthermore, WHAM training may shorten the time it takes for high school students to step into higher paying jobs in the hospitality industry. The Table shows potential long-term career opportunities for WHAM participants in the Food Services & Drinking Places industry (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] code 722). The Table was developed using R&P’s Customized Staffing Patterns program located at http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/staffingpatterns2003/ staffingpatterns2003.htm.

Users can enter the number of employees (hypothetical or known) for a three-digit NAICS code (other levels of aggregation are currently unavailable). The program then calculates the estimated number of employees per occupation by Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for the occupational staffing pattern within the industry.

The staffing pattern is derived from the 2003 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey. Using the Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimated employment in Food Services & Drinking Places for February 2005, we generated the approximate distribution of occupations in Wyoming within this industry.

The Table is the occupational distribution for Food Services & Drinking Places (NAICS 722) based on CES employment of 17,200 (Bullard, 2005). Occupations in italics are potential longterm supervisory or managerial destinations for WHAM participants. Three occupations stand out as strong options because of their industry predominance (12.7% of the industry’s employment or 2,189 jobs):

Wages of supervisory/management positions range from $10.06 per hour for First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation & Serving Related Workers (SOC 35-1012) to $36.89 per hour for Sales Managers (SOC 11-2022). The Table thus depicts a potential career path from entry level to management.

For the complete study results, see Cooking Up a Career: Examining the Outcomes of a High School Training Program in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at


Bullard, D. (2005). Wyoming nonagricultural wage and salary employment. Wyoming Labor Force Trends, 42(4). Retrieved June 24, 2005, from http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/0405/ces1.htm.

These pages designed by Julie Barnish.
Last modified on by Phil Ellsworth.