- For those who have been previously incarcerated, homeless, or in the foster care system, unemployment rates range from 27-42%.
- In California, 50% of parolees end up back in prison within three years of being released.
- San Diego has the 4th highest population of homeless individuals in the nation.
Project Launch is a tuition-free, 20-month certified apprenticeship program that annually prepares 150 individuals who are overcoming histories of incarceration, homelessness, foster care, mental health issues, or victims of domestic violence to launch meaningful careers in the culinary and hospitality industry. Kitchens for Good offers three apprenticeship tracts of culinary, baking, and food service management. Through a combination of technical career education, customized support services, life skills classes, and paid employment, Kitchens for Good successfully helps its apprentices to access career pathways and break the cycle of poverty and incarceration. The program begins with a 12-week life skills and workforce training course (360 hours) followed by 17 months (2,400 hours) of paid on-the-job training with employer partners, paired with ongoing career coaching and support services.
The training curriculum includes both ‘knife skills’ such as food safety and culinary or baking techniques, to ‘life skills’ such as conflict resolution, communication skills, and résumé writing and financial literacy. Apprentices practice their culinary skills and give back to their community daily by preparing meals for food insecure San Diegans. After completing the training and demonstrating proficiency in all of the required curriculum competencies, apprentices are ‘promoted’ and placed into jobs with employer partners to complete their paid on-the-job training (OJT). Kitchens for Good staff check in with apprentices monthly for the next 17 months, to provide ongoing career coaching and support and to ensure apprentices remain employed, wages and skills increase, and on-the-job training hours are accumulated to receive the Apprenticeship Certification.
The program has a strong track record in helping to break the cycles of poverty with attained outcomes of 85% employment rate of graduates.
This project is funded in part with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the City of San Diego.
Learn More About Our Programs
Training people to thrive in careers in the culinary and hospitality industry
Reducing Food Waste
Utilizing Surplus and Cosmetically Imperfect Food
Combating Hunger with Nutritious Meals for Families in Need
Providing on the job training for apprentices and generating revenue to support programs