At Ideal Institute of Technology in Atlantic County, the career college is busy cooking up its latest social enterprise project. As part of the school’s First Step to Career program, young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are being given a chance to learn the ins and outs of running a food truck, handling everything from cooking to purchasing to marketing to bookkeeping.
At the end of the year-long paid entrepreneurship training, those who successfully complete the program will be able to pitch a business plan for their very own food truck funded by an angel investor group.
“At Ideal, we do more than teach—we innovate,” said Ren Parikh, founder of Ideal Institute of Technology. “Ideal operates around the philosophy of ‘earn while you learn,’ providing student-operated enterprises for our students to get hands-on experience. At our We Are AC food truck, a first of its kind entrepreneurship program, our students can graduate with their own operating food truck business.”
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at The Walk, The We Are AC food truck offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options, ranging from egg sandwiches to wraps to tacos to fries to bowls, as well as special boxed lunches. Orders can be made for pick-up or arranged to be delivered.
The truck is also available for corporate events; school functions; private parties; and hospital, wedding and movie catering anywhere in New Jersey.
Currently, five students are involved with operating the truck, but the program has open enrollment and can accept up to 20 people for each cohort. Along the way, they’ll be taking tests for each aspect of the business — from how to come up with an idea for a truck and its menu, to…