Breaking down walls and designing a new program to meet the training needs of people with barriers to employment has led to the transformation of COIN's food services into a successful training program.
}In just over a year, Peterborough EATS (Employment Advancement Training Services) has gained a strong reputation for becoming the go-to place in town where people can gain the knowledge, tools and skills needed to access new employment opportunities in the food industry. Through their six- and twelve-week program, Peterborough EATS offers training for entry-level jobs in the hospitality sector.
With his 13 years in the field, Miguel Hernandez, Peterborough EATS' Chef and Catering Manager, knows what local employers are looking for in new recruits. He and Training Program Coordinator, Fenella Best combine their talents and expertise and provide trainees with the support they need to excel.
A social enterprise of the non-profit Community Opportunity and Innovation Network Inc. (COIN), Peterborough EATS is aware of the fact that many restaurateurs, chefs, owner-operators in the Peterborough area "work themselves to the ground because there isn't enough people out there to give them a hand." As Miguel points out, employers are looking for skilled employees at the entry-level of their businesses. These jobs are essential stepping stones into higher-paid jobs in the industry. Yet too often, when the top employees move on to start their own initiative, it is very difficult to find someone able to replace them. Miguel's vision is to fill this gap with Peterborough EATS's successful participants.
Through the program, trainees learn the essential ingredients in running all aspects of a food business. They are taught how to successfully source, cost, prepare and then sell a product. And this week, students in the program are given a wonderful opportunity to test the skills they have learned, as they will be running the Peterborough EATS café at the public library.
So why not come and buy your lunch at the library this week? It will give you an opportunity to show your support for Peterborough EATS. And if you mention that you've heard about their great work through this blog, you will get a discount and some delicious food! I got my lunch there today, it was a Japenese fusion menu that was truly scrumptious!