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Today another group of underemployed and unemployed adults begin a five-week industrial sewing training here at the Steepletown Center.   This initiative is largely the brain-child and passion of Camille Metzger, owner of Blue Marble Threads.  Camille moved her business into the Steepletown Center about four years ago.  Over the past couple years she has been telling me about the need for a trained workforce in this industry, so I connected her with GRCC’s Director of Workforce Training at the Tassell M-TEC.  That conversation and some initial grant funding led to the launch of the industrial sewing training last October.  And it has received tremendous reviews ever since!  Read the article featuring Camille from M-Live

One of Steepletown’s GED students was part of the initial group that was trained in the fall.  While her current focus is on completing the GED, she plans on pursuing a career in the fashion business and also plans on using the training she received to attain employment and further her skills.  With literally thousands of young adults in Kent County who have not completed high school, this strategy to integrate GED completion with sector specific training is greatly needed.

A similar initiative is the Culinary Leadership Academy at Steepletown.  Working under the guidance and instruction of Kitchen Sage’s Chef Tommy FitzGerald and Chef Justin Stermin, those in the CLA have the opportunity to earn their ServSafe certification, earn a stipend while in the training, and finish with an externship at a local restaurant, leading to full-time employment.  While the young adult may not end up as the head chef at one of Greg Gilmore’s establishments, the skills, confidence, and social network that will be gained are invaluable to what lies ahead.  The CLA is currently accepting applications for the next cohort; check out the Culinary Leadership Academy for more information.