CSFTW-sponsored Fort Worx program featured on Fort Worth Magazine.

Written by Samantha Calimbahin.

Photo by Ross Reitzhammer.

There’s a new program for locals looking to sharpen their kitchen skills for an eventual career in the food service industry — and it gives back to the community too.

The Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB), Taste Project, and The Culinary School of Fort Worth (with support from Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County) have partnered to launch Fort Worx, a 16-week job readiness pre-apprenticeship program for adults interested in careers in the food service industry. Participants will receive hands-on instruction on everything from food preparation to menu building before becoming eligible to continue education at The Culinary School.

“Fort Worx highlights how our Fort Worth community continues to come together to solve some of our toughest challenges in creative and innovative ways,” Chef Jeff Williams, founder and executive director of Taste Project, said in a statement. “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.”

With the program officially launching April 19, Fort Worx students will begin training at TAFB’s Mission Kitchen, where they’ll spend eight weeks training under chef-instructor Joan Denton. Apprentices will receive paid, on-the-job learning in a commercial kitchen, creating meals using surplus donated food, which will then be distributed to food-insecure individuals in the community.

Then, the apprentices will spend the next eight weeks at Taste Project’s Taste Community Restaurant, the nonprofit, pay-what-you-can restaurant in the Near Southside. About 24 – 32 hours per week will be dedicated to learning food prep management, managing a hot line, recipe development, ingredient sourcing, recipe costing, plating, menu building, and service planning.

Fort Worx will then assist apprentices with job placement and, with a sponsorship by their employer, they will also be eligible to continue education with The Culinary School’s apprenticeship program. There, apprentices can become Certified Fundamentals Cooks through the American Culinary Federation, equipping them for employment at fast-casual restaurants, food manufacturing, and institutional food service operations, such as hospitals, hotels, and corporate cafeterias.

Those interested in applying to Fort Worx can do so at fortworx.org/apply. Informational meetings are scheduled for Tuesday at noon and 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Tarrant Area Food Bank (2525 Cullen St.).

Read the full article here.