UNITE HERE Chicago Hospitality Institute (UHCHI), HIRE360, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) and SAVOR announced the first-ever UHCHI Culinary Apprenticeship Class in preparation of the return of hospitality. The eight-week program kicked off Monday and served a diverse group of students, many of whom had been laid off from their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will prepare students with skills needed for the return of the hospitality industry. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Apprenticeship Illinois expansion and workforce alignment initiatives, the classes will be held Monday through Friday for eight weeks. HIRE360, a nonprofit that connects underserved minority businesses and communities to jobs in the building trades across the region, applied for the DCEO apprenticeship grant to recruit for and fund the training for UHCHI. On Friday, June 11, a ceremony will be held to graduate students into their on-the-job apprenticeships.