WorkNet, Inc., a private non-profit organization, has received a Community Based Economic Development grant in the amount of $50,000.00 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to begin a program of culinary arts and green maintenance training targeting ex-offenders of Hawaiian ancestry.
WorkNet CAFE is a traiining program that prepares people emerging from the Hawaii prison system to enter the fields of Food Service and Maintenance. It serves Native Hawaiian as a primary target group, but can accept others who are also in transition from incarceration.
The purpose of the program is to give formal trainig and hands-on experience in the planting, growing, harvesting, preparation and presentation of healthy nutritious food with an emphasis on organic pesticide-free locally grown produce. It also provides training in cleaning, maintenance and sanitiation using biodegradable products and "green" cleaning techniques that apply to the food service industry in particular. Program graduates will be hired in postions in the food service industry at the end of training.
This is accomplished in a twelve week training course (three month cycle) that takes the enrollees from the farm to the kitchen as they follow the progress of the food to its ultimate place at the dining table. In the Food Service track participants are provided a 36 hour classroom training course that results in a nationally certified credential in food safety that is the industry standard. Enrollees meet twice a week for a 1 1/2 hour class during the week. On the weekend participants will spend 4 hours on a working farm learning and practicing techniques of modern farming with an emphasis on natural organic methods.
Maintenance trainees will be in a similar schedule meeting twice weekly and going to the farm on weekends. The learning content will be different than the food service trainees and the result will be a certificate in professional maintenance with an emphasis on green cleaning techniques.
Program participants will graduate from the class by running their own full service restaurant featuring locally sourced food and entertainment. The event will be open to the public and also serve as a fundraiser to provide a continuing support and self-sufficiency for the program. For more information, call WorkNet, Inc at 521-7770.