Just five years ago, Regino described himself as “unemployable.” Today, he is a full-time line cook at a major corporate catering business.
“I had to reinvent myself,” says the 50-year-old Manhattan resident.
Regino got the opportunity he needed to transform his life when his vocational counselor recommended our Culinary Arts Training Program (CATP). The award-winning program prepares at-risk New Yorkers – who are unemployed and often homeless – for entry-level culinary jobs.
Determined to achieve his goal of a steady and fulfilling career, Regino enrolled in CATP in 2010. After three-months of classroom training, he began his first culinary internship. “I treated it like it was a job,” Regino recalls.
His hard work paid off when his internship turned into a full-time position. Since then, Regino has been promoted three times. He attributes his success to his classroom and on-the-job training at CATP. “It’s a great opportunity and foundation,” he says.
Meanwhile, Regino’s employer has continued to hire interns from CATP. “It’s a testament to Project Renewal’s program that my company gives the graduates these opportunities,” he says.
This year marks CATP’s 20th anniversary. The program places graduates in jobs at twice the rate of the national average for comparable programs, and there is now a separate track for veterans who are struggling to re-enter the job market.