How Our Culinary Skills Training Program Makes A Difference

The 43rd Culinary Training Class Valedictorian, Rondell Donaldson, received a standing ovation after speaking about what the program did for him, and how good it felt to graduate with a job as a cook at a great restaurant. He is one of many graduates who go on to build successful careers in the food business.

As class Valedictorian, Rondell had this to say:

“I would like to thank the FoodBank for the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a chef and also for putting together this great program with an awesome and caring staff that truly wants you to succeed. They go out of their way to help you and treat you like family. Chef Ray, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a phenomenal teacher! You have taught me so much it was a privilege to be taught by you and to work alongside you. Thank you for believing in me and for encouraging me every step of the way. You have made a huge impact on my life.”

Our onsite Culinary Skills Training Program helps adults in need of permanent employment get the skills they need for better paid jobs. The program helps men and women become self-sufficient through:

  • 12 weeks of on-site food preparation and classroom training, provided by a certified executive chef
  • An additional week of job shadowing at another food establishment to boost experience
  • The opportunity to receive CPR Certification and ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification.

Graduates from the program get to experience a working kitchen first hand, and in addition, get life-skills instruction on job readiness, work ethic and the importance of giving their all to the job at hand. “I tell everyone in my class to imagine themselves the owner of the restaurant in which they work, so they have a mindset that everything has to be done with quality and care, and the customer has to have a great experience,” says Certified Executive Chef Ray Cattley.

Culinary students get many job leads while attending the class, as Rondell discusses here.

View the photo galley for the 43rd Graduating Class.