“Everyone treats you well here.”
“This program is good for anyone with challenges,” she said. “It helps you get a good job, learn new skills and sets you up for whatever you want to do. And you get paid while learning. It’s good, really good.”
Hieu graduated from the program two days after talking with us and she was excited about her next steps.
“I already have a job waiting for me,” she said. “I’ll be in corporate dining where I will work on grill, prep and pretty much anything else they need me to do. I can do it all.”
She smiles and continues.
“I actually had three interviews and I got offers from each one,” she said. “I chose the best fit for me. I want to be an assistant manager soon.”
The Foodservice Apprenticeship Program is a 10-24 week on-the-job paid training program that is geared towards people who have had historical barriers to employment advancement and some previous experience in the foodservice industry. The program is endorsed by the Washington Hospitality Association.
The program gives people the chance to skill up in a variety of culinary tracks such as: line cook, server, corporate dining cook, catering cook, coffee shop lead and catering captain. Graduates of the program have seen an average of a 20% increase in their wages because of the training.
Hieu knew that she needed to skill up. She worked in restaurants and cafeterias before, but most of her career she had been a caregiver. She was working in retirement homes and other organizations for nearly ten years, but then she had to stop so that she could care for her mother.
“I was taking care of my mother at home,” she said. “It made it really hard for me to find work so this program was really good. It gives you all the different skills you need to find a job when you are finished.”
She has some advice for anyone thinking about starting the Foodservice Apprenticeship Program.
“Come on time, have a great smile and be honest with your co-workers,” she said. “This program will help you and it doesn’t matter where you come from or what your background is. Everyone treats you well here. Everyone wants you to do good. Work with your career specialist and work hard.”