Small Business Development Center Builds Test Kitchen for Locals
April 11, 2013
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Walla Wallans are about to get cooking.
Since the start of the school year, the Walla Walla Small Business Development Center and its intern senior David McGaughey have worked with the Walla Walla Veteran Affairs Medical Center to build a test kitchen for community members.
The kitchen is meant to be an asset for locals who want to cook without spending money on expensive kitchen equipment. After the kitchen opens, all community members will have access to the cookware and utensils. The Small Business Development Center does not yet have a date set for the kitchen’s opening.
McGaughey interned with the Small Business Development Center as a participant in the 2012 Whitman Community Fellows Program. Throughout his year-long internship, he researched the policies, procedures and regulations implemented by other test kitchens to find the right model for the local project.
Walla Walla Small Business Development Center Director Joe Jacobs feels that McGaughey’s work has been invaluable to the process.
“If it wasn’t for David, I would still be working on the research part of the project. With all the hours he has put into the project, he brought everything together, and we’re now at the final stages of the project,” he said.
McGaughey is pleased to have been part of an experience that helps community members in such a practical way.
“The hope is that the kitchen will be up and running so that the people of Walla Walla will continue to use it. As a student, the experience cannot get much better than that, to be working on something tangible and collaborative,” he said.
Assistant Dean for Student Engagement Noah Leavitt, who helped to organize the program through the Student Engagement Center, feels that participants in the Community Fellows Program gain valuable experience by participating in longer internships.
“We believe that it’s better for the student to have a two-semester internship than a one-semester internship because the student will learn more and then be able to contribute more to their organizations, whatever their mission is,” he said.
McGaughey certainly feels that such an experience has helped him to make an impact.
“The experience has been incredible. I have [had] internship[s] elsewhere [where I] didn’t feel like I was making as much of an impact. Here, the harder I work, I know that it would be better off. I really appreciated the freedom to take what we had to do and run with it,” said McGaughey.
Jacobs also feels the program is beneficial for students and community members alike.
“The Fellow has made a great contribution to the community by participating in this project. This is going to have a lasting and positive effect on the community,” said Jacobs.