. - The Center for Innovative Food Technology in Toledo can now verify high school juniors and seniors expertise in areas like agriculture, food and natural resources, bioscience and food science and safety.
CIFT had to apply and meet the guidelines of the Ohio Department of Education.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, (D) Ohio 9th District stopped in Toledo Monday morning to help announce the new food-industry certifications or CIFT.
"Every student should have to go through to learn how we can improve the world for the better instead of just doing the same things every day, you know math, science and everything," said Brionna Pratt a senior at Toledo Public School's Natural Science Technology Center Senior. "We should learn about food and how to produce it and make it on our own."
Pratt said it's a lot of training hours, up to 120 hours for the associates credential and 480 for the specialist. But it could land her a job right out of high school at one of the local food related companies like Campbell's.
"An apprentice program where they go into companies and they can birddog what's going on inside those companies and develop a relationship while still in high school," said Congresswoman Kaptur.
Teachers are excited to give their students job-ready skills.
"It was a perfect fit for my students to speak with them and determine that they could actually issue this credential," said Bryan Ellis, teach at the Natural Science Technology Center.
CIFT works with many local small businesses in agriculture and food processing.
The President of CIFT said she sees the need for more people trained in food safety. This program connects students with these job opportunities.