Celebrating 2019's Successes: the Year in Pictures

January 8, 2020

From increasing our in-person workshop offerings to launching our first year of mentorship and data champions programming, we are continually finding new ways to meet your organization’s needs. In 2019 we grew our membership network by 22 members and served 66 unique organizations through our consulting services.

Through it all, we’ve been impressed and inspired by all of the amazing work happening around the country. As we gear up for 2020, we’d like to take this moment to celebrate the successes of our membership network.

The First Youth and Young Adult Workshop

With over 40% of our members serving youth and young adults, we held our first Youth/Young Adult training workshop this year with Liberty’s Kitchen & Café Reconcile in New Orleans. Thirty-five participants heard from local New Orleans organizations on trauma informed care practices, building youth resiliency, mental health support, and staff training to find new pathways for the opportunity youth they serve.

Brought Members Together with Five Regional Summits

Community is at our core at CK! This year we traveled to five regions to bring local foodservice job training programs together in Baltimore, Florida, Indianapolis, California, and Phoenix. Our members constantly report that the connection and community created through Catalyst Kitchens programs has made a huge impact on their work, so we could not be more pleased that we could do so much this year to bring members and non-members together in the foodservice job training field.

Connected Culinary Trainers with Three Train the Trainer Workshops

Our Train the Trainer Workshops are two-day events focused on coaching & evaluation skills for staff working directly with students. It has proved to be a great resource for CK members to build their skillset in teaching, interdepartmental communications, & create a supportive learning environment for their culinary students. We offered three Train-the-Trainer workshops in partnership with Community Kitchens Pittsburgh, Providence Kitchen, and FareStart to make this offering more accessible to members across the country.

Hosted Two Foodservice Job Training 101 Workshops

Our Foodservice Job Training Program 101 Workshop introductory workshop for a behind the scenes look at what makes this program model successful. We held this workshop at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to showcase their internship model and large contract meals operation. 

Helping Programs Launch & Scale Their Programs Across North America

In 2019 we worked with members and clients serving diverse populations from opportunity youth to program graduates looking for new challenges and higher paying positions in foodservice. We’ve prepared six organizations to launch brand-new foodservice programs and prepared nine programs to scale up their operations to find more job opportunities for students.

A great example of this work comes from Columbia Industries in Kennewick, WA, an organization serving individuals with disabilities & other challenges through job training with four other workforce development programs alongside their newest Opportunity Kitchen.

                                    Columbia Industries' Opportunity Kitchen program, launched in April 2019. 

With the support of the Catalyst Consulting team through program scheduling, funding support, and establishing business lines, Opportunity Kitchen launched in April 2019! As told by Kailey Bear, Program Manager at Opportunity Kitchen, “We can really see the difference it is making in the lives of our students and the potential we have to help our community. We are excited to continue in this adventure and see how far we can take it!”

“The CK team has been truly awesome to work with! From helping us with feasibility studies, to hosting us for Model Immersion workshops, to just being there to answer questions when they come up. Whenever we have needed guidance in creating our program or help when we hit snags, the program managers at CK have always been so helpful.” – Kailey Bear, Program Manager, Opportunity Kitchen at Columbia Industries


We Grew Our Membership Community

Our community got a little bigger this year! We welcomed 22 new members to the network, including a high school culinary training program (FBITES), a Kosher kitchen we supported through our Catalyst Consulting program (Commonpoint Queens). Check out our member map to find out if there's a Catalyst Kitchens member near you (and support them with your dollar!): the Catalyst Kitchens Member Map.


Launched Our Mentorship Program

We piloted our first mentorship program this January with twelve mentors & mentees paired across the network to advance their professional goals on both sides of the relationship. Using Lisa Ann Edwards' mentoring approach, our program focused on asking mentees the right questions to arrive at the answers themselves. Twelve mentor & protégé pairs connected on monthly check-in calls from January to June and participated in regular “mentorship cafes”. We plan to offer our mentorship program on a rolling basis in 2020 for ongoing mentorship opportunities.  


Created a “Culture of Data” with Ten Data Champions

We launched our Data Champions fellowship in July 2019 to support a select group of member organizations to establish a data-driven culture. Our first Data Champions cohort focused on creating tools using our national network outcomes, received Tableau software and training, and attended the national Tableau conference in Fall 2019.


                            The 2019 Data Champions fellowship at an in-person Tableau training in Austin, Texas. 



Thank you to all of our members, our Member Advisory Council, members who contributed to 2019 programming and content, our national partners, the FareStart team, and to our volunteers for making this year's work possible! Stay tuned in 2020 for more programming, more content, and more opportunities to create community around foodservice job training. 



Blog Category: 

Community Engagement

Corinne Molz

Corinne brings experience to her role of Communications Coordinator from her background in event planning, international development undergraduate degree, and her passion for the foodservice job training social enterprise model. Her career goals are devoted to lifting others out of the cycle of poverty through economic empowerment through employment/workforce development. She previously served FareStart as a Catering Captain, Catalyst Kitchens as Program Associate, and currently manages all More