Our Program

16-Week Program

Phase 1: (Introductory Culinary and Life Skills)
7 weeks 280 hours

 
Phase 1 provides trainees with both practical cooking experience and a high-quality food service curriculum gaining expertise in areas such a safe food handling, knife cutting techniques, and culinary theory. Also an introduction to Barista training taught by our good friends at Caffe' D'arte.


Phase 2: (Leadership Training, Advanced Culinary Skills, and Continued Life Skills)
5 weeks 200 hours 


Phase 2 continues with both practical cooking experience and a high-quality food service curriculum. In addition to their foodservice training, 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. Trainee's also complete their Barista training. 

Phase 3: (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. Trainees have also had an opportunity to work in front of the house, back of the house, work on caterings, and provide school and community charitable meals. 

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 have also helped improve trainee outcomes. With 90 days and beyond of post-graduation support, we have been able to maintain a 86% employment rate for graduates and have offered continued GED support to four trainees. Additionally, through a partnership with the Department of Labor, we have been able to employ alumni through WOIA (Workforce Opportunity Investment Act) Work Experience funds, allowing trainees 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. 

Trainees who did not complete high school have access to GED tutoring and test-taking support. All tutoring and supplies are free for trainees, and the program also covers the cost of the GED test.
 

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 food service training, trainees attend life skills and employability classes each week. The curriculum covers a broad range of topics, including financial literacy, healthy relationship skills, tenant rights and responsibilities, and effective resume writing. Additionally, trainees who did not complete high school 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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