Food Futures is a new apprentice program that trains and mentors those seeking a career in the food industry with the knowledge and skills needed to develop and launch a small food business or to join the larger food and hospitality industry. Launched in Summer 2022, the kick-off brought together a committed group of individuals excited to start their journey at Community Action Marin’s Central Kitchen.
In addition to instruction by Chef Jose, the Kitchen Manager, on food safety and sanitation, personal safety in the kitchen, and knife skills development, the workforce team shared information about supportive services: assistance paying utilities, financial coaching, budgeting help, and connection to childcare resources the agency offers.
On the fourth day of the program, participants worked on the ServSafe Exam Certification and got enrolled in SparkPoint coaching in support of their financial health. Participants then selected a mentor business owner for the 20 hours of on-the-job training. Mentors and apprentices worked to create a mutually agreeable schedule. Participants in the Kitchen Apprentice program are paid an hourly wage of $18.50 when the requisite time is completed.
Erika Acosta, the agency’s Workforce Development Coordinator shared, “it’s wonderful to see someone be able to pursue a career in the food industry when that’s what they want to do. I know some of the Food Futures apprentices would like to start a food business and go to local farmer’s markets with their products. This is the perfect venue for training and for the other supports they might need along the way. I’m excited to have them with us!”