Foodlink's culinary training program gets nearly $1 million from state

13 hours ago

Credit Alex Crichton

New York state is awarding Foodlink $960,000 to support its Career Fellowship, the first cook apprenticeship program in the state.

The funding come from the state's Workforce Development Initiative's Pay for Success program, focusing on training opportunities for underserved and underemployed populations.

Director of Career Empowerment Initiatives at Foodlink, Jes Scannell, says the funding will enable them to put an additional 30 fellows through the program in the next year.

Officials from Foodlink say the the program spurs economic development and can transform lives
Credit foodlinkny.org

``Folks are able to get real solid culinary education but also receive significant support in figuring out how to be amazing employees," she said. ``We're the first cook apprenticeship program in the state of New York.  Folks are nominated by community partners, and spend a year training with us, the last three months of which are with employers in the community."

Eight members of the inaugural graduating class found full-time work in 2019

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who announced the funding during a visit to Foodlink in Rochester on Monday, says the state's investment in the program is part of the overall effort to close the skills gap and prepare New Yorkers for jobs today and in the future.

Foodlink is the regional food bank, serving 10 counties and distributing nearly 20 million pounds of food annually.