Ben, a student in the Culinary Arts program at JobTrain, was keeping a secret from his instructor, Chef Adam Weiner: “The most interesting thing about Ben was he never mentioned to me that his father was a key employee at JobTrain. I didn’t find out until several months after he completed his training, when his father told me about his accomplishments,” recalls Chef Adam.
Ben was young, eager, motivated, and dedicated. He was on time every day, ready to tackle whatever was thrown at him. Chef Adam sent him to do an externship at Cisco Systems whose dining facilities are run by the prestigious Bon Appetit Management Company. He impressed the people at Bon Appetit so much that they hired him before he even completed his program at JobTrain. Ben received his Culinary Arts certificate and minutes later was working at Sysco! Over the next seven years, Ben worked in various line cook positions, and was promoted to sous-chef in 2014.
In the March 2014 issue of The Northern California Carpenter magazine, “Celebrating Women in the Trade” – JobTrain’s own Project Build graduate Vanessa is featured on the cover. Vanessa is a member of Local 217 and has worked at the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant for almost a year, where the carpenters are working on a seismic retrofit. According to her foreman, “she is the best apprentice I ever worked with.”
Susie came to JobTrain determined to gain the education and job skills she needed to succeed. The first step in her journey was to earn her GED. With hard work and support from her GED instructor, she earned her GED in less than 2 months. Susie would go on to graduate from JobTrain’s Medical Office Assistant Program. According to Susie, “The skills I gained at JobTrain helped me prepare to get a job. The counselors were so helpful. They were always on top of everything, helping me with the next steps in reaching my goals.” Susie’s first job upon graduating was with a chiropractic office as a receptionist. As her skill set increased, she moved up the career ladder, and has been in the banking industry for 6 years now. Her current supervisor says, “Susie is one of our best sales and service representatives at the branch. We are proud to have Susie, a JobTrain graduate, as a team member.”
Susie says, “I am thankful to JobTrain for being there for me when I needed it the most. If someone needs job skills, I recommend they go to JobTrain.”
Dan is working at the Everest Restaurant, located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. “I’m happier than ever that I went through the culinary program at JobTrain. Most of the other cooks at Everest attended a more “elite” culinary school. My knowledge of food may be smaller than the other cooks, but I have a distinct advantage in terms of my work habits. The other cooks seem afraid to ask how to do something; what I learned at JobTrain, however, is that asking how to do something the right way is always acceptable. And that willingness to ask, and a willingness to learn, are skills that should be taught to all cooks, as it is at JobTrain.
Each culinary student at JobTrain receives about $8,000 worth of instruction – an amount that does not even equal the cost of one year at most culinary schools. But the important point for your culinary students, is that after they graduate, they have no debt. My salary at Everest may be small, but it is enough to pay for my expenses and still save a little. I am indebted to you and the amazing program at JobTrain for the wonderful life I’m living. The work habits you teach, and the fact that no student incurs debt from the program, gives students an advantage that most other culinary programs cannot offer.”