NECAT's Culinary Arts Job Training Program helps students achieve personal transformation and long-term employment. We utilize a holistic 16-week training curriculum focused equally on culinary, social/emotional learning (SEL), job readiness and financial skill development. The topics covered in each of these areas include:
Culinary - safety and sanitation, culinary history, scaling / recipe conversions, food science, knife skills and the full range of cooking techniques
Job Readiness - career exploration, professional expectations, resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches, networking, online job search, applications, interviewing, etc.
Social/emotional - emotoinal regulation, self-awareness, conflict resoluation, listening for information, teamwork, accountability, mindfulness, motivation, etc.
Financial literacy - budgets, assets, banking, credit scores, preditory practices, etc.
Students gain real-world experience and regularly network with employers through on-site career fairs, culinary “stages” (shifts worked in professional kitchens) and events. In addition, we employ a trauma-informed care model and have two case workers who support students both in and out of program hours; advocating for them, connecting them with resources and helping them stay focused on their goals.
Partner social service agencies provide wrap-around services to our students, in addition to referring the majority of participants to our program. Some of our most engaged partners include DTA, Access to Recovery and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. We also work closely with a network of vetted employers that are committed to providing good wages and benefits, supporting our graduates in their early careers and maintaining positive work environments. Our closest partners sit on our Employer Advisory Council and include Encore Boston Harbor, SRV, NewBridge on the Charles, Whole Foods and Aramark.
Since our inception, we have enrolled close to 800 students in our Boston program.
The COVID-19 crisis has required NECAT to pivot. A once thriving food services industry is now crippled, among the most negatively impacted by the pandemic response effort. Many of our more than 500 graduates have been laid off, facing isolation, fear and financial hardship. Our current plan is to reopen in early July, in accordance with the Governor and Mayor’s recommendations. We are currently determining necessary changes to our class size, program duration and operations, and plan to return to normal when able. We will continue to communicate any changes with you as we learn more.
This program may be offered remotely.