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Adult Residential Center clients complete pilot culinary skills course

Six clients of Johnson County’s Adult Residential Center graduated today from a pilot culinary cornerstones program.

Johnson County Department of Corrections partnered with Kansas City, Missouri-based Episcopal Community Services to develop a 15-week culinary curriculum to help residential center clients learn basic cooking skills.

“The culinary training program is an excellent example of community partners and government coming together to teach skills that will help clients obtain jobs that provide livable wages,” said Betsy Gillespie, director of Johnson County Department of Corrections.

Program graduates were recognized Dec. 19 at a ceremony at the Adult Residential Center. Students spent 15 weeks developing a variety of skills, including safe food-handling, nutritional planning, financial literacy, interpersonal communication and basic life skills.

“Partners worked together to provide the training, food and opportunities for participants to practice their new skills,” Gillespie said. “With so many restaurants in Johnson County and the Kansas City area, the program contributes to a need for employers to have a more skilled workforce. We are all excited about the success of this pilot program and hope that the graduates will utilize their new skills as they return to the community.”

The culinary skills program will continue with a new class in February.

Currently the Department of Corrections works with community partners to offer vocational training programs in welding and culinary skills. Episcopal Community Services first developed the culinary program to help address the Kansas City area’s issues with hunger, homelessness and poverty.