At a Glance
Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) is launching a Food Truck program to provide students with real world, work-based learning experiences in food retail entrepreneurship.
UBCTS is planning to operate a Food Truck program to provide students with relevant, work-based learning experiences that take them outside of the classroom. The food truck, which is being built by an outside company, will service the local community, organizations, and private events throughout the Bucks County region.
From his time working at another CTC, UBCTS Executive Director Jeffrey Sweda had prior experience developing the concept for a food truck. Because of the valuable learning experiences such a project granted students, he wanted to implement one at UBCTS. Mr. Sweda presented the food truck idea to faculty in October 2018 and then to the board in November 2018. The truck will be ready for operation in May 2019, and students will begin working in the program at that time. In total, Mr. Sweda estimates it will have taken about seven months of planning and preparation to get the food truck up and running.
To pay for the truck, the school used funds from the student production fund, which will be reimbursed as the school receives sponsorship money and makes a profit from the food truck operation. UBCTS estimates it will need $40,000 in sponsorships to run the student food truck program.
In a letter to local businesses, Director Jeff Sweda explained the project and its expected benefits to students and the community. He requested local businesses consider donating to the project. All sponsors of the “Food Truck” will have their company logo adorned on the food truck. As of March 2019, the program received $21,000.00 and counting from local business and industry partners.
UBCTS applied for separate funding to cover related salaries. It estimates it will need $15, 800 to pay student wages. This amount covers 26-52 student employees working at $11.00/hour for up to a total $600 stipend. For costs associated with supervising students, UBCTC estimates it will need $7,200 which will cover 25 hours of staff time at $28.80/hour for 10 staff members.
Approximately 25-30 students and faculty in the Baking and Pastry Arts and Culinary programs who are ServSafe® certified will work in the food truck. Students from other CTE programs at UBCTS also will be involved in supporting the program:
• Students from the auto cluster will maintain the truck during its off season.
• Graphics students are contributing to the wrap design.
• Electrical and mechatronics students will be wiring the LED lights and sound system.
• Students in the construction cluster will assume responsibility for the kitchen upkeep.
UBCTS plans to donate a portion of the food truck proceeds to various organizations throughout the Upper Bucks region, such as those raising awareness about autism and Toys for Tots.
Because the food truck program is still in the planning and preparation phase, there is not information available on the impact of the program at this time.
Upper Bucks County Technical School
Jeffrey Sweda, Executive Director