CUSTOMER SERVICE IN CULINARY TRAINING
Our training capacity has more than doubled with the new Customer Service in Culinary Training for Opportunity Youth (OY), which started in fall 2017 at The Kitchen at Hartford Public Library. Now, the training primarily takes place at The Kitchen on Broad St, where youth are able to demonstrate their skills through Front of House and Back of House training. Customer Service in Culinary training has evolved to serve 25-28 Opportunity Youth per year, and instills personal and professional development through virtual learning, classroom workshops, and primarily hands-on training in The Kitchen. Young people work in The Kitchen café, learning customer service and culinary skills in a real work environment, setting themselves up for success in their future internships and jobs. The end of our 2nd year grant cycle saw 93% of our participants earn their Serv Safe certificate and 89% complete our training and enter into internships.
Forge City Works is focusing on providing training for Opportunity Youth (ages 18-24 who are not in school and un/under-employed) because there are 6,000 OY in Hartford. Twenty-two percent of Hartford young people ages 18-24 have not finished high school. Unemployment among young people is two to three times higher in the general population, and among people of color unemployment is often twice as high. Re-connecting these young people to a productive future is critically important not just for the individual but also for our city and state. The Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act (WIOA) and Capital Workforce Partners support Forge City Work’s ability to offer the Customer Service an Culinary program to young people.
Customer Service in Culinary Training is our primary work with young people. The purpose of this training is not to necessarily set a participant on a lifelong culinary career pathway. Instead, the program is meant to be the first successful work experience for a young person, introducing them to the job culture. Through this experience, youth gain valuable workplace skills, exposure to culinary career pathways, build their network, develop a resume, and complete training and internship experience, all while being supported in an inclusive and youth-friendly environment.
A young person’s first introduction to the work-world occurs naturally in middle class homes, where teenagers regularly get their first jobs in retail or restaurants, teaching them basic job soft skills and how to operate in a professional environment. Forge City Works provides an upward ladder for those youth interested in pursuing a culinary career. Our youth trainees begin as a cohort; after completing Customer Service in Culinary Bootcamp, youth trainees are prepared to begin their work at the café serving customers, under the tutelage of a youth instructor.
Meet & Greet Info Flyer
Customer Service in Culinary Training Info Flyer
Customer Service in Culinary Poster