This week marks an important milestone for Second Harvest: One year ago, on April 1st, we welcomed our first group of students into the Culinary Training Program. To date, we have graduated 28 students, and are currently working with our fourth group, scheduled to graduate June 13th. We have 100% employment placement rates upon graduation, and job retention rates well above the country’s average as compared to similar programs across the United States.
Early on, it was recognized that life skills training would be a key component to the success of our program and students. One of the exciting trends we are seeing is that as we increased the number of hours of life skills training for our students, the job retention rates also increased; this speaks volumes on so many levels. As we move forward into our second year, we will continue to build a strong community of culinary industry partners.
Special thanks to Idalia Nunez, Chef Israel Santiago, and Chef Jill Holland for their outstanding team work in meeting our mission of changing lives and “shortening the line” from the other side.
Find out more about our Darden Foundation Community Kitchen Culinary Training Program at: http://bit.ly/CulinaryProgram
Dawn M. Viola
Executive Chef, Community Kitchen Director