Delaware Food Works program provides workforce training, creating career paths for students
MILFORD, Del. – The Food Bank of Delaware is expanding its mission of serving the community by providing workforce training.
The Delaware Food Works Culinary School is giving future chefs a chance to pursue a passion, while learning life skills along the way.
“We do a lot of life skills here. So it’s not just that we’re teaching culinary, we’re teaching a way of life. How to obtain a career, how to keep it, and how to move forward,” said Chef Instructor Tish Badamshin.
The free, 14-week program provides students with uniforms, books, and transportation. I’m told, this opportunity opens doors for many who thought doors were closed.
“We have all ages ranging from 18 and up and sometimes it’s from many different aspects of life. For instance, maybe they’re homeless and they’re trying to get back on their feet and they just don’t know where to go or where to turn,” said Badamshin.
“Originally, I was exploring very few options. I didn’t have enough money for those fancy culinary schools and I was lacking funds. I really wanted to pursue the culinary career by any means,” said Delaware Food Works student Adam Carpenter.
The first 12 weeks are devoted to hands-on training in the kitchen and classroom work. The last few are workforce training, allowing students a chance to get real experience in a restaurant.
“When I went in, I ended up making some ghost pepper fried chicken from scratch. It was very delicious. I heard a lot of murmuring and I was a little skeptical. Next thing I know she’s putting books on my desk saying you got first place. I was so enthralled by that,” said Carpenter.
Students say it’s hard work but the end result is life-changing. “I went and worked out in restaurants for over 30 years, so if I can change somebody else’s life by teaching them a skill then I’m all for that,” said Badamshin.
“I can’t tell you it’s going to be easy, because it won’t be. But if you’re really determined to make a difference in yourself, your life, and you want to step into the culinary industry then this is the way to do it,” said Carpenter.
Current students in the program are expected to graduate November 30th. If you would like to find out more, visit www.fbd.org