FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Tarrant Area Food Bank, Taste Project, and The Culinary School of Fort Worth are proud to announce the launch of Fort Worx, a job readiness pre-apprenticeship program for adults interested in careers in the food service industry, with support from Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County. The 16-week program provides training and on-the-job learning in the fundamentals of food preparation.

They are actively recruiting apprentices who will begin their training in TAFB’s Mission Kitchen on September 26, 2021. The apprentices will spend 7 weeks training under Chef Instructor Joan Denton, RDN, where they will receive hands-on instruction and participate in skill development activities. Apprentices will put their skills to work through paid on-the-job learning in a commercial kitchen, transforming surplus donated food into nutritious meals which are distributed to food insecure people in the community. Apprentices also complete a variety of other experiences to engage them in the mission of TAFB, to empower our communities to alleviate hunger.

“We’re excited to work alongside such influential culinary programs to encourage those in our community to learn foodservice and essential life skills,” said Julie Butner, President and CEO of Tarrant Area Food Bank. “This program will allow these apprentices to assist our effort to end hunger while advancing their own skills through education, training, and employment in a culinary field.”

Once apprentices have completed their first 7 weeks at TAFB, they complete a paid externship at Taste Project’s Taste Community Restaurant, a non-profit pay-what-you-can restaurant. Here the apprentices engage in additional work experience in a full-service restaurant environment on-the-job learning. They will spend 24-32 hours per week learning food prep management, managing a hot line, recipe development, ingredient sourcing, recipe costing, plating, menu building, and service planning.

“Fort Worx highlights how our Fort Worth community continues to come together to solve some of our toughest challenges in creative and innovative ways,” said Chef Jeff Williams, Founder and Executive Director of Taste Project. “We are excited to equip apprentices with job and life skills, while also bringing them into community ensuring they know they are loved and supported.”

Upon completion of the externship, apprentices are assisted with job placement and are eligible to continue their education in The Culinary School of Fort Worth’s apprenticeship program, sponsored by their employer. Apprentices are Certified Fundamentals Cooks through the ACF upon completion of the program and passing the ACF exam and equipped for employment in fast-casual restaurants, food manufacturing, and institutional foodservice operations, such as hospitals, hotels, and corporate cafeterias.

The Culinary School of Fort Worth will provide oversight and support of the Fort Worx program and will work with Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County to place the apprentices in foodservice related jobs.

“A partnership with these great organizations that do so much for our community is rewarding in many ways,” said Jason Avelson, Apprenticeship and HS Partnerships Manager at The Culinary School of Fort Worth. “Upon completion of the Fort Worx program, we will continue to support the apprentices’ passion for foodservice with an opportunity to advance their culinary skills at The Culinary School of Fort Worth.”

Applications are currently being accepted. Those interested can take the following steps:

Apply online at fortworx.org/apply.

NOTE: Two forms of ID will be required to prove eligibility at the information meeting. Those could include: Social Security card, Birth Certificate, Driver’s License, State ID and/or School ID, if not expired

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