The Arlington Employment Center’s Culinary Program trains individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the hard and soft skills necessary to gain employment in a commercial kitchen. All training is provided by staff from D.C. Central Kitchen. The program is funded with Community Development Block Grant Funds obtained through a partnership with Arlington’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
Historically, the graduation rate for Arlington students averages 85 – 90%. The placement rate has averaged 82% with many of the placements occurring during the internship phase of the program. The program takes a holistic approach and consists of:
- Self-Empowerment Sessions – 50 hours
- Culinary Classes – 120 hours (7 Weeks)
- Training opportunities outside of D.C. Central Kitchen
- Servsafe: Food Protection Manager’s Certification Course and AllerTrain Certification Course – 54 hours
- DCCK’s Commercial Kitchen Production Experience – 40 hours
- Guest Chef Demonstrations
- Field Trips – 2 Trips Per Class
- Student Cooking Competition– 1 Event per Class
- Employment Skills, Computer Literacy & Job Search
- Internships: 1 Session Per Class (80 Hours per Student)
- Graduate Support for one year following graduation
Many of our past graduates have advanced in the culinary world to management positions. These include a kitchen manager with Arlington Public Schools and a regional manager with Buffalo Wild Wings. More importantly the majority of program graduates now enjoy economic self-sufficiency.