LANSING – State Representative George T. Darany (D-Dearborn) has introduced legislation that will make hundreds of students at Henry Ford Community College more competitive in the job market.

Darany’s plan allows the Dearborn campus to sell and use alcoholic beverages at its two conference centers, enabling students in the culinary arts program to acquire the full range of skills they need to excel in their profession.

“Henry Ford has an outstanding culinary arts program that prepares students for an industry that is growing in Michigan, and I want to make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed,” Darany said. “Currently, our students are at a disadvantage in their training because they can’t serve or work with wine and other alcoholic drinks at on-campus events. Broadening the students’ training will help ensure that they have the same opportunities for success as other students throughout the state.”

The state currently allows alcoholic beverages to be served only at conference centers at certain colleges and universities. Darany’s plan adds the Student and Culinary Arts Building and the Administration Conference Center on the Dearborn campus of Henry Ford Community College to that list and allows alcoholic beverages to be sold at scheduled events. The bill also includes certain buildings at Jackson, Monroe and Washtenaw Community Colleges.

“Whether it’s cooking with wine or spirits, suggesting the best wine to go with a certain entree or being able to pour it well, culinary arts students will be better prepared for the job market if we enable Henry Ford to expand its menu,” Darany said. “This will be good for Michigan, because we want people in the food industry to be knowledgeable about the wonderful products made by Michigan breweries, wineries and distilleries.

“We’re seeing how important this is to the growing culinary tourism industry, which had its first state conference in Michigan this month. We need to make sure we’re taking advantage of every opportunity to prepare our students for good-paying jobs and support our small businesses. This small change will go a long way toward that.”