Cooking Up Employment Opps

Cooking Up Employment Opps

March 11, 2013 / 0 Comments 0 Comments

JayRudermanWe are proud to support Transitions to Work, in collaboration with Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Jewish Vocational Service (JVS). They work to train and help young adults with disabilities enter the workforce while simultaneously engaging the corporate and business community to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Here’s a wrap up of a program that just ended. It is great to see how everyone benefited- participants and their mentors.
– Jay

Five Transitions to Work participants recently graduated from a three month training program at Whitsons School of Nutrition in the Newton, MA North High School. The participants received classroom instruction in job readiness issues and gained hands-on work experience and training. The work included customer service, food preparation, food portioning and back of the house support positions.


“Thank you so much for letting us come in and do this work. Whitsons helped us use different types of tools. When we get a job somewhere and they ask us if we have used those tools, now we can say yes,” said Josh, a participant who spoke at the graduation. “I seriously like Whitsons and its people more than anything and will never forget. They are very superb and helpful… I like how we are able to work together and always ask when we had any problems. I also liked learning how to use the grill, serve food, and food prep from all of the Whitsons Staff.”

Everyone agreed it was a win-win experience for all. The program was not only highly beneficial for the participants but also for the Whitsons employees. Micah Fleisig, the Transitions to Work Employment Specialist for JVS, applauded Whitsons commitment to individuals with disabilities and to the Transitions to Work participant: “Due to the staff, chef and administration, Whitsons has been a wonderful work site for our interns. I have been completely impressed with the balance of mentoring and compassion with their professionalism and productivity.”

April Liles, Food Service Director – Newton Public Schools Whitsons School Nutrition, is a big supporter of the program. April mentioned that Whitsons saw this experience as an opportunity to partner with the community and it turned out better than even anticipated. The participants arrived every day, on time, eager to work and learn, and became members of the team. “The experience was amazing for Whitsons, the participants, and all involved. We would do it again in a heartbeat”.

About the author

Jay Ruderman is the President of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

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