The House of Bread began the new year with the initiation of its new Food Service Career Pathways training program, an expanded version of its long running Food Education and Skills Training (F.E.A.S.T.) program. The program is made possible by a three year grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving which will provide a major share of the necessary funding. The program is designed to serve multiple cohorts of participants annually in small groups of 5-8 who will benefit from approximately 150 hours of classroom training at the south-end Jubilee House site and a four week paid internship at the Chestnut St. facility and at other locations. The curriculum includes national standardized content required of the “ServSafe” Food Protection Manager certification, the “Bring Your A Game to Work,’’ work ethics program, a strong focus on personal and career motivation and academic tutoring in basic math and reading skills.
Recently, the first cohort of five students graduated on March 26, having all successfully achieved their “ServSafe” credential and having attended six weeks of classroom training with an attendance average of 95% and having worked an average of 52 hours of paid internship. Yasmin Binns, Program Coordinator/Lead Teacher, lauded the students’ accomplishments having provided many opportunities for incremental successes which helped to build participants’ self-esteem. The students celebrated their completion of the program with friends and staff at a graduation luncheon that they prepared for the entire student body and tutor corps of the Jubilee House program site.
Moving forward, the program has targeted the end of April for its next cohort as inquiries and referrals to the program have picked up steam. With agency partners such as the Mercy Housing Corporation and the Community Renewal Team, the program endeavors to become a true asset for residents of the region. It clearly supports the mission of the House of Bread, “Food, Shelter, Housing, and Education with Compassion, Dignity, and Respect.”
For more information and to receive a program participant application contact Yasmin Binns at 860-247-3030, ext. 112. The program is open to all residents of the region, 18 and over, at no cost.