Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation Provides Funding for New Nashville State Culinary Arts Kitchen


The Randy Rayburn School of Culinary Arts at Nashville State Community College recently announced that it’s the recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation.

“This gift represents a significant step in our efforts to expand the culinary arts program at Nashville State,” said Randy Rayburn, local restaurant owner of Sunset Grill, Midtown Café and Cabana. “With the current construction of two new kitchens at the Nashville State Southeast campus in Antioch, program capacity will double. This gift will enable us to provide state-of-the-art facilities to our students. We are grateful to Piedmont Natural Gas and the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation for their generosity and their support of the Nashville community through this gift.”

Construction of the new facilities at the Southeast campus is scheduled to be completed this fall and will feature more than 5,000 square feet of kitchen and classroom space. Classes in the new facility will begin in January 2014.

“We are honored to be a part of the growth in the hospitality industry in Middle Tennessee and especially pleased that we can have a positive impact on the workforce needs of the culinary industry through this grant,” said Stephen Francescon, Community Relations Manager, Tennessee, at Piedmont Natural Gas. “Natural gas is a key component of the cooking industry and this partnership with Nashville State is an opportunity for Piedmont to demonstrate our commitment to Tennessee and the communities and customers we serve.”

The culinary arts program at Nashville State was established in 1996 and offers both certificate and degree programs for those interested in pursuing a career in the hospitality industry. For students interested in finding out more about the culinary arts program at Nashville State Community College, contact Chef Tom Loftis, Program Coordinator, at 615-353-3783, or go to the Nashville State website at www.nscc.edu.

Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation

The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation was established in 2004 with initial funding of $7 million from Piedmont Natural Gas. The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation assists qualified charitable agencies and organizations within Piedmont Natural Gas’ three-state service area, through the awarding of grants. The Foundation’s mission of, “Enriching Our Communities,” mirrors Piedmont Natural Gas’ strong philanthropic commitment to the communities it serves. The Foundation’s grant making strategy further reflects that commitment by focusing on two areas: Environmental Stewardship and Energy Sustainability, and Community Enrichment Initiatives centered on K-12 STEM Education, Workforce Development and Health and Human Services. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $6.2 million in grants to qualifying organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

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