The Guidance Center of Westchester (TGCW) was awarded a $90,000 grant from Impact 100 Westchester. The transformative grant will be used to fund the costs of a kitchen renovation, which will then enable the Center for College & Careers to offer a culinary arts skills training program.
“This Impact 100 grant is going to open a new future for hundreds of young people in Westchester,” says Daniel Bonnet, deputy executive director for the Center for College & Careers. “It’s an innovative and transformative workforce development program that will enable young adults to develop additional skills, gain experience, and go on to obtain a job in the growing field of culinary arts.”
The program is a natural extension of the Center for College & Careers’ center-based program. Housed at TGCW’s offices in Mount Vernon, the center-based program works with young people ages 16-26 who dropped out of high school or who aged out of high school without sufficient credits to graduate. The center-based program helps those young adults obtain an HSE/TSAC diploma (formerly called a GED) or a National External Diploma Program (NEDP). Program participants work closely with an opportunity-ready youth counselor who connects them with employment opportunities and additional skills training while helping them develop a plan for the future.
“The culinary arts skills training will become an essential component of the program. Already, we have young people interested in the field, and there are many jobs available to those who have the right training,” says Mr. Bonnet.
The program will be open to all Westchester County young adults with a high school diploma or HSE, the majority of participants will likely come from Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Yonkers, and Mamaroneck.
TGCW worked with D’Amore Design Studio for the architectural renderings of the expanded commercial kitchen. TGCW anticipates construction to begin later this year.
With lots of work still ahead, mark this story as “developing” and check back for updates.
Pictured above: TGCW CEO Amy Gelles, Director of Development & External Relations Ann R. Hyatt, Deputy Executive Director for the Center for College & Careers Daniel Bonnet, and Center for College & Careers youth participant.