Youth Transitions, Inc
Youth Transitions, Inc. trains students with developmental disabilities for summer and Career employment in the foodservice industry. Our program focuses on insuring that students are proficient in three job areas within the foodservice industry. This approach offers the students job skills that will be attractive to any foodservice employer. Moreover, the additional skills will position the student to be a more productive employee.
Three goals for student development are:
1. Develop satisfactory skill levels in “three” foodservice job areas.
2. Student demonstrates satisfactory skills in foodservice sanitation and safety skills.
3. Student demonstrates ability to follow direction.
Our students receive 90 hours of certified training in Culinary Arts. Students attend 90-minute training classes, Monday through Thursday. Classes are designed to replicate the operational environment of most foodservice organizations. Students prepare meals for six local church congregations, including Cokesbury United Methodist Church. We receive revenue from the meals prepared for these congregations which allows us to offer training at no expense to students.
- Monday and Tuesday classes are dedicated to preparatory work for the Wednesday Church meals.
- Wednesday is the day we replicate activity in many restaurants and culinary kitchens. We accomplish this by preparing a four-course meal for 600 members of the six churches.
- Knife skills training and baking practicum held on Thursday and Friday.
We use the majority of all prepared foods at church events as a revenue source to offset program expenses.
Students showing proficiency in three skill areas qualify for summer employment. Students transitioning out of high school qualify for permanent part-time or full-time employment opportunities. We visit participating employers twice monthly as part of job coaching with the student and assisting employers in enlarging the job duties of the student-employee. Finally, returning students will participate in more advanced Culinary activities, including menu design, independent projects, and culinary competitions.
We also offer a Life Skills training class. This class is designed to:
a. Allow students opportunity to explore culinary cooking and the foodservice environment.
b. Students learn to cook meals for themselves, as well their family members. Class begins with Breakfast, followed by Lunch items, dinner entrees, vegetables, and snacks.
Our target population includes individuals with developmental disabilities. Students are referred from the local county school system, home school co-ops, and individuals referred from local advocacy groups. We are very fortunate to have strong support from local church congregations in the community. These groups have assisted us in expanding our community message.
We evaluate our program through review of our daily activities, in addition to feedback from employers. Specifically, we conduct employer entry and exit interviews to improve our training systems and outcomes.
The Mid-Day Café, a revenue-generating restaurant in the Cokesbury Center, serves as a final training point for students. As a subsidiary of Youth Transitions, the Café offers the student opportunities for frontline customer service training in an operating restaurant.
For additional information please call us at 865-660-6680.