Culinary Arts + Computers = Recipe for Employment

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Every day, millions of Americans log into online job sites, press the submit button, and hope their carefully crafted resumes, cover letters and applications will result in an interview. As hard as it is to wake up every day and look for work online without success, imagine what it’s like for people who have no access to computers and who don’t even know how to use a mouse.

Ventana del Soul's take on chicken

Ventana del Soul’s Take on Chicken

To make matters more difficult, the media are reporting that employers tend to disregard the resumes of people who are unemployed – especially if they’ve been unemployed for a long time. Situations like these can make for dark days for the unemployed and underemployed, but Austin Free-Net has partnered with some great organizations who tackle this problem head-on.

Ventana del Soul is one such partner. It is a culinary arts school and a cultural center specializing in vocational training and mentoring for unemployed and underemployed adults. It has a 100% job placement record for their graduates.

As a part of the training program, Austin Free-Net has a computer lab and classes on the premises, and students are required to learn to use computers while they work through the culinary arts program. The Austin Free-Net classes help them learn to use a word processor so they can create resumes and cover letters. Students also learn to use email, fill out online applications and look for employment using online job sites.

Once they’ve graduated, these students enter the job market more qualified than other the candidates willing to take low-wage, entry-level cooking jobs. They not only have the computer skills necessary in today’s job market, but they’ve also earned many professional culinary certifications. This combination makes them more attractive to hiring companies, and it also makes them more likely to be quickly promoted once they’ve proven they are responsible, hard workers.

Austin Free-Net trainer Lori Williams explains it this way: “I feel like I’m leveling the playing field for my students. These men and women have successful job histories – they’re great workers, and they’re willing to start all over again at the bottom. Their humility humbles ME — they inspire me more than I can say.”

Ventana del Soul is located at 1834 East Oltorf Street. You can support the program by stopping by their café and coffee shop for a wonderful, reasonably priced breakfast or lunch.

Source: Austin Free-Net

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