Workforce Development: From Cook to Chef:
In 2017, EDU Consulting LLC applied for a grant under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offered by Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network. We are fortunate to be one of the 12 agencies approved by the City of Long Beach as a vendor for Workforce Development Services Subject Matter Experts.
As a Workforce Development approved vendor, our role is to develop and execute industry strategies that complement workforce initiatives. We provide consulting expertise, skills, services and support products as they relate to current workforce industry needs.
“From Cook to Chef” Program
One of many projects undertaken with the City of Long Beach and GD BRO Burger in Signal Hill, CA is the From Cook to Chef Program. Based on grant requirements from the U.S. Department of Labor, participant eligibility was based on:
- 18-24 years old or 17 years old with a high school diploma or equivalent
- Not currently in any school
- Long Beach/Signal Hill resident w/ appropriate documentation
- Social Security Card/DACA
- Selective Service Registration
Our collaboration began with the owner, Hue Nguyen of GD BRO Burger and Pacific Gateway leadership. We embarked on developing a comprehensive 40-hour training program in Customer Service and Sales. Our specific emphasis was on the restaurant/fast-food industry. Our instruction was linked with ongoing efforts to provide support to all participants. Classroom instruction occurred in the mornings, followed by practical application of knowledge and skills at the restaurant facility. Curriculum led students to successful completion of the National Retail Federation Customer Service & Sales Certified Specialist certificate. In the end, students also received an ANSI-approved California Food Handler’s Card.
Upon completion of the in-class instruction, the grant provided up to 120 hours of paid internship. Subsequently, these students are offered employment based on their work evaluation.
Challenges during the Pandemic
Based on our first-round of success, GD BRO owner Mr. Nguyen is looking for multiple ways to continue this critical investment in our at-risk youth. His goal is to remove life’s obstacles and pave the way for career success. Facing the challenges caused by the COVID crisis, Mr. Nguyen is striving to reinvent how his business meets the needs of a changing market. He sees his highly trained at-risk youth as a critical ingredient to the success of his brand.
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