The Café/Culinary Program became a reality in July of 2011 when grant funding was secured through Capital Area Workforce Development Board, in partnership with Johnston Health and Johnston Community College. This partnership resulted in assistance with the first two years of operation.
The program was the first of its kind for residents of Johnston County, aiming to cultivate professionals for the food industry, the fifth largest job growth industry in the county. According to the Department of Labor, more than 351,000 jobs will be added to the food service industry within the next two years. The program's initial goals were to provide hands-on culinary training to 60 unemployed individuals, as well as have 85% of graduates obtain employment and/or pursue other training. The Café succeeded with both of these goals and served a total of 64 individuals and obtained employment or other training for 94% of the graduates.
Since inception, the program has served as an advantage for the graduate students, partnering agencies, as well as local businesses. A real life-changer for all of those involved! Recent graduates are working at a variety of local restaurants, hospitals, churches and schools.