Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Mayor Gray Announces Partnership with Union Kitchen to Boost Employment by Training Food-Industry Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mayor Gray Announces Partnership with Union Kitchen to Boost Employment by Training Food-Industry Entrepreneurs

Initiative at District’s First Culinary Incubator Will Develop DC Workforce

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) Victor L. Hoskins, and the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) launched a partnership with Union Kitchen, the city’s first culinary incubator, to train District residents to work in commercial kitchens and open their own businesses.

“As I said last week in my State of the District Address, one of my top priorities is using every means available to us to grow and diversify the District’s economy and ensure that every resident who wants a job has one,” said Mayor Gray. “This culinary-incubation partnership is a great example of that priority in action. This unique partnership will create not only jobs, but also job creators in the District of Columbia by providing residents with the skills they need not only to work in the food-service industry, but also to start their own restaurants and catering businesses.”

Union Kitchen offers access to a low-cost, low-risk, full-service commercial kitchen for District businesses to grow and establish their operations. Through this DC government partnership, District residents will use Union Kitchen to learn and hone kitchen and facilities-management skills and start culinary businesses.

Over the next few months, District residents in DOES’ Project Empowerment will work at Union Kitchen as kitchen staff, learning vital job skills. In addition, several participants in newly launched DOES entrepreneurial-training program will incubate their culinary businesses at Union Kitchen.

“This partnership is a win for District government, a win for business development and job creation, and a win for District residents,” said Deputy Mayor Hoskins. “Mayor Gray’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy specifically identifies culinary incubators as a targeted initiative, and I am delighted by the rapid progress we have made on implementation.”

The District continues efforts to build on the success of the One City ● One Hire initiative, which has matched over 5,300 previously unemployed District residents with jobs with over 900 participating employers. Today’s announcement will support these ongoing efforts.

“We must continue to train our District residents so that they can remain competitive in this global marketplace,” said DOES Director Mallory. “This innovative economic-development initiative includes new entrepreneurship programming that builds the right skills for District residents.”