The Wilson Center for Vocational Studies

In December 2010, Employment Resources Incorporated (ERI) opened our new 3,500 square foot vocational center as part of ERI’s Gladys H. Oberle School.  In the beginning, the vocational center trained has students in two areas; small engine repair (lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.) and bicycle repair and maintenance.

ERI conducted a Needs Assessment Survey in 2012 regarding vocational training.  Based on the survey results, we determined the need for a Culinary Arts Program.  When planning began for the program, our staff wanted to make sure a new state-of-the-art facility would provide an excellent classroom environment, and hot lunches for the students.

ERI was very fortunate when a generous donation was made by Joe and Mary Wilson to fund the project. ERI decided to honor the local businessman and his wife by naming the vocational center The Wilson Center for Vocational Studies.  On April 10, 2013, a ribbon cutting and sign unveiling ceremony was held followed by a reception to honor the Wilson family.

On April 29, 2013 the first hot lunch prepared in the new kitchen was served to students and staff at the Oberle School. Culinary Arts Program now utilizes the new kitchen facility and a remodeled classroom to conduct the instructional component of the program. The Oberle School’s Cooking Club is utilizing the new kitchen space and is holding club meetings in the facility.

In 2015, students and staff in the Culinary Arts Program began showcasing their new facility and culinary talents by hosting a breakfast for the Rappahannock Rotary Club serving over 100 members and a luncheon for the Stafford Rotary Club serving 50+ meals.

For more information on all of ERI’s vocational programs, please contact Pamela K. Simms, VP Education Services at 540-372-6710, ext. 113, or