El Paso, TX (population: 631,862) has fourteen catering schools within a 500-mile radius of its city center. Navajo Technical College, the highest ranked school in this group with a catering program, has a total student population of 751. It is the 1715th highest ranked school in the USA and the 5th highest in the state of New Mexico (#1 is New Mexico State University-Main Campus).
Catering students from El Paso schools who go on to become caterers, professional caterers, food service managers, food service directors, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 11,218,260 people working as food preparation and serving related employees alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $20,880. Also, Meeting and convention planners make on average $48,060 per year and there are about 51,530 of them employed in the US today. In fact, in the El Paso area alone, there are 30 employed meeting and convention planners earning an average salary of $45,230. Food preparation and serving related employees in this area earn $18,090/yr and there are 26,450 employed.
El Paso lies in El Paso county, which is one of the 154 counties in Texas. Overall, the El Paso area has 269,250 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 2.0% unemployment rate, $16.37/hr average worker wage, and a $34,050 average annual salary. Thus, about 98.247 out of every 1000 jobs in El Paso are held by food preparation and serving related employees, and 0.124/1000 are held by meeting and convention planners.
Of the 14 catering schools with a 500-mile radius of El Paso, only 4 have a student population over 10k. After taking into account tuition, living expenses, and financial aid, Scottsdale Culinary Institute comes out as the most expensive ($44,966/yr) for catering students, with Navajo Technical College as the lowest, reported at only $2,488/yr.