Kitchen Sage is back to production for another year of preschool, feeding nearly 350 preschoolers every day. However, what makes Kitchen Sage unique is that it is a training kitchen for those interested in pursuing a career in the food industry. In 2016 Steepletown received approval from the State Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for Kitchen Sage to operate as a Proprietary School. Every year since then Steepletown has had to renew its status with the State. The significance of this is that Kitchen Sage is included on the Eligible Training Providers list which allows state and federal workforce development funding to cover the training fees for students.
The first training cohort started earlier this week after taking a couple months to restructure the training program. What prompted this is that Kitchen Sage now has three new staff who bring additional experience, talent and credentials to this work. Kitchen Sage also continues to partner with Covenant House Michigan to provide the food services for the residents of their housing program for homeless young adults in Grand Rapids, located on the same campus as Covenant House Academy. Many of the residents and students from those programs are also interested in the training that Kitchen Sage offers. And in a day and age when more food is produced in a factory rather than in a kitchen, its good to teach some basic cooking skills to young adults as they venture out on their own.
Kitchen Sage also was fortunate to expand its culinary camp, i.e. Camp Kitchen Sage, this past summer in partnership with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (see related article here). Many of the young adults who participated in that 4 and 6 week work-based learning program were able to stay employed with the restaurant partners or institutions that provided the daily, hands-on training in their kitchens. As there are many employers in the food service industry looking to hire individuals, Kitchen Sage is one place where its okay to have too many cooks in the kitchen. To learn more about Kitchen Sage and the training it offers, click here to visit its website.