New program pays students to learn culinary industry

February 06, 2019 08:18 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- A new program at Foodlink is getting recognition from the governor for its efforts to help people get jobs.

The Foodlink Career Fellowship program is bringing together a dozen men and women from the community who want to learn how to earn real money in the culinary industry. 

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Each student has been getting paid to learn everything they need to know to score a mid-level job in the culinary industry. Entry Level food jobs usually pay around $20,000 annually, but this program prepares students for mid-skill jobs that pay around $45,000 every year.

Foodlink staff met with local business leaders who say there are well-paying jobs in the culinary industry, but a lot of times people don't have the training necessary to score the job.

This fellowship program allows students to learn food safety, knife skills, food prep, kitchen cleaning, and the importance of teamwork while getting paid to do it.

Student Anthony Arroyo says this program is setting him up to one day open his own restaurant. 

"This will help me reach my career goal because it's helping us get certified again," Arroyo said. "They're also teaching us things we don't know. It's opening up opportunities with other clients such as Palmers and Wegmans. We have an internship, and it's something not many people can try."

Before graduation in June, the students complete an externship at Wegmans. After that, they are expected to land a job at one of the major regional employers.

Jes Scannell, Foodlink's director of career empowerment initiatives, says the goal of this program is to set these students up for success.

"We want the folks that graduate from this program to be able to take care of their families, build wealth, and to open the doors for folks that may come after them," Scannell said.

You must be nominated by a community partner or non-profit to join the fellowship program. Click here to learn more about the program. 


Kaci Jones

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