Food Service Skills Training Program

Jobs that support this most basic human need are constantly looking for quality employees to execute against customer demand. That’s why Goodwill of Central Iowa provides basic skills to individuals with barriers to employment, so they can gain community employment within the food service industry or related fields. With regular, six-hour classes, the program teaches the skills necessary to successfully obtain and maintain work in this industry including safe food handling and preparation, serving and equipment maintenance and customer service. Participants train at the Johnston headquarter’s Smilin’ G Café before potentially graduating to the Good Beginnings Café at the United Way Building in downtown Des Moines. Using Goodwill’s cafeterias as a laboratory, this program is hands-on and highly practical.


Alice Lester: Hy-Vee

Alice came to Goodwill in 2010 to work on her goals to prepare her for competitive employment. She entered our food service skills training program in May 2016 and was able to complete it successfully, despite her barrier of limited ability to stand for long periods of time. Overcoming her own personal health issues as well as deaths in her family, Alice continued to work hard in our programming and, in April 2017, was offered two competing positions at the same time and had the opportunity to choose her career path at Hy-Vee.

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