A training ground for kitchen workers
In such difficult economic conditions, getting a job can be close to impossible unless you have that added training that puts you ahead of the rest.
Philabundance is proud to provide the Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) program, which gives low-income adults, who might not otherwise be considered, a foot in the door.
This 14-week intensive program in a commercial kitchen setting includes culinary arts and life skills training, while at the same time providing meals to feed people in need. Students are provided internships, job placement assistance, and 2 years of support and follow-up.
Celebrating its 11th anniversary in September 2011, PCK can boast that all of this hard work has resulted in more than 350,000 meals and a new chance in a tough environment for more than 425 low-income men and women since inception.
To date, 85 percent of PCK graduates have gained employment in the food-service industry. Here is a success story of one of our graduates:
Niema Womack (fall '07)
When Niema Womack entered the culinary arts job training program at the Philabundance Community Kitchen it was clear that she was determined to make a good impression and put forth her best effort. Niema excelled in the kitchen and in the classroom and had great respect for the learning environment. All the while, Niema was also taking care of her ailing grandfather.
She went on to an internship at the renowned Union League Club in Philadelphia. Once again, Niema excelled. She was offered a full time position on day two of her internship.
As the guardian for her grandfather who was unfit to live alone, Niema faced very difficult decisions regarding the family home and his safety. While working, she took on the responsibility of moving her grandfather into a senior home and settling the property single-handedly.
Following a successful tenure at the Union League, Niema has gone on to hone her skills in kitchens throughout the region. She is also focusing on our education and completed a medical program at Drexel University in October 2010.
Niema currently working as a chef on the Philadelphia Belle Dinner Cruise and will start school part-time this fall to get her associate's degree.
With a substantial savings, a commitment to excellence and a strong sense of her goals, Niema continues to pursue her dreams on her terms.