Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff
The Fayetteville Public Library next month will launch a kitchen basics training program intended to help locals gain skills to help them in the job market, and to help local restaurants find candidates for open positions.
The new program is called “Burning through the Basics: Restaurant Kitchen Readiness Intensive and ServSafe Certification Course” and was created through a partnership with area chefs, the Fayetteville Independent Business Alliance and Startup Junkie.
The classes will be held in the library’s new state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, built as part of the facility’s recently completed expansion.
Local restaurants are struggling to hire staff, and there are currently 450 job openings in the hospitality industry in Washington County, according to a press release issued this week by the library.
“With fast food chains offering $300 – $500 sign on bonuses, it is difficult for our locally owned restaurants to compete,” said Brightwater chef Adam Simmons.
The new classes will be taught by Simmons and local chef Wes Mickel, and will focus on several areas like basic knife skills and safe food handling. The program will offer a total of 12 hours of instruction over the course of two weeks.
Fayetteville Independent Business Alliance director Reese Roberts will also help participants with resume and interview skills.
At the end of the program, students will take the ServSafe certification exam. After that, the instructors will help the students apply for at least three local jobs of their choosing.
The program is perfectly aligned with the mission of the newly-expanded Fayetteville Public Library, said executive director David Johnson.
“This program exemplifies what the teaching kitchen was designed to do, to be a place where patrons can be introduced to the culinary world, learn new skills, and go out into the community with the knowledge to gain employment and help the local economy,” Johnson said.
Classes start on Monday, Aug. 2, will be held every Monday through Wednesday for two weeks.
For more info or to sign up, visit www.faylib.org/kitchen