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16-Week Program

Phase 1: (Orientation and Introductory Culinary and Life Skills)
4 weeks 160 hours

Phase 1 provides trainees with an orientation and starting to introduce the core competencies for successful employment in any environment. Trainees start by gaining expertise in areas such a safe food handling, sanitation, knife cutting techniques, and basic culinary theory. During this phase, the trainees are also producing community charitable meals.

Phase 2: (Leadership Training, Advanced Culinary Skills, and Continued Life Skills)
4 weeks 160 hours


Continued practical cooking experience and a high-quality food service curriculum. Trainees attend weekly life skills classes that provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to become leaders, confident, and self-sufficient. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics, including financial literacy, healthy relationship skills, tenant rights and responsibilities, and effective resume writing. Also an introduction to Barista training taught by our good friends at Caffe' D'arte.

Phase 3: (Café, Barista, and Caterings)
4 weeks 160 hours 

Trainees have also had an opportunity to work front of the house and back of the house in the Life’s Kitchen café and well as continuing to work on caterings, and supporting the school and community charitable meals production.  



Phase 4: (Transition Back into the Community)
4 weeks 160 hours 


As they near the end of the program, trainees participate in one or two internships/job shadows at local restaurants or food service facilities. These internships are individualized based on each trainee’s employment goals and interests and often lead to a job offer.

Graduation and Expanded Alumni Services:

After 16 weeks and over 640 hours of training, tests, and classes are completed, students attend graduation and are presented to their peers, families, and supporters. 

Expanded Alumni Services: 


Alumni receive one year of formal post-graduation support but are invited to utilize alumni resources beyond that if desired. Continued GED support for alumni. Through a partnership with the Department of Labor, we have been able to employ alumni through the WIOA (Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act). Work Experience funds, allowing alumni who have graduated the program but are not yet ready to enter the workforce to stay on as Life’s Kitchen employees while continuing to enhance their skills and gain real employment experience.


Workforce Development, Food Service, Life Skills, and GED Training Program

Life’s Kitchen operates three businesses to provide on-the-job work experience to trainees while generating revenue for the ongoing program. Trainees gain a wide array of skills and experience by spending time working in our café, contract foods, and catering businesses. Each trainee passes through a 16-week, three-phase competency program, gaining expertise in areas such as safe food handling, knife cutting techniques, barista training, and basic culinary theory. The program provides trainees with both practical cooking experience and a high-quality food service curriculum.

In addition to their foodservice training, trainees attend life skills and employability classes each week. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics, including financial literacy, healthy relationship skills, mock job interviews, understanding insurance, taxes, college enrollment, etc. Trainees who did not complete high school also have access to GED tutoring and test-taking support. 

Our program provides trainees with the life skills they need to live as independent adults, education support to help them complete their high school diploma, and the skills necessary to be successful in the job market. Most importantly, the program helps trainees develop the ability to set and achieve goals and the confidence to overcome obstacles.

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