Project Welcome was an employment-driven training initiative delivered by KCC’s CEWD in partnership with KCC’s Office of Continuing Education. Launched in February 2007, the program was made possible by a U.S. Department of Labor Community-Based Jobs Training Grantawarded to Kingsborough to train New York City residents in Tourism and Hospitality. The program was free-of-charge, open to the under- and unemployed and to career changers with an interest in pursuing careers in hospitality and food production. Project Welcome offered three training programs: Hospitality Operations and Management, Hospitality Event and Meeting Planning, and Food Service Operations. The 10-to-12 week training programs included certification test fees, books and supplies, internship opportunities and assistance with job placement. Project Welcome represented a new model for jobs training at Kingsborough; we have used the successful model since for other grant-funded initiatives.
CUNY Young Adult Program
The CUNY Young Adult Program (CYAP) was a partnership of three CUNY colleges – LaGuardia Community College (lead organization), Kingsborough Community College (KCC), and New York City College of Technology (City Tech) supported by the NY Department of Labor from 2009. Each college offered a customized skills training program to prepare participants for employment. CYAP served participants between the ages of 18-24 who were not currently employed or enrolled in school, had their high school diplomas or GEDs, and demonstrated financial need.
Green CUNY Young Adult Program
The Green CUNY Young Adult Program, funded by the New York State Department of Labor, was based on the successful CYAP program. Two components were added: a “green-awareness” piece focused on urban agriculture and the National Work Readiness Credential.
KCC Green CYAP offered training in Food Service Operations. Training included a focus on hospitality and customer services. The program was composed of college coursework, workshops and lectures that focused on workplace readiness, customer service and business operations. Hands-on experience was further enhanced through internships and with virtual simulations that gave students an insider’s look on how a particular business operates.
The training also exposed young adults, 18-24 years old, to concepts of sustainability related to urban agriculture and entrepreneurship. Weekly class topics enhanced their understanding of organic food, carbon footprint, recycling, composting, and other strategies for sustainable living. Participants are able to connect what they learn in the classroom with real world experience through field trips to local farms and community gardens.