Lenita Aegis (28) is completing her 4th week of an 8 week Catering Career program launched by Frontlines called Front Burners ….and she loves it.
After completing the Learning Enrichment Foundation’s Hospitality Training program last year, Lenita felt she needed more of a hands-on experience and on-the-job training as she looks towards a goal of working in a bakery or catering company specializing in desserts. But all the programs she could find were located downtown and too far to attend regularly, until an employment coach told her about Frontlines.
Located at 1844 Weston road, just south of Lawrence, Frontlines is a drop-in Youth Centre that runs a free after-school program for kids 6-12 yrs old.
But during the day Noella Charles, runs Front Burners, a series of free culinary arts skill training sessions for 18-29 yr olds who want to learn more about Toronto’s food and catering industry. At each session, Noella mentors 5 – 6 youth and offers ongoing job placement supports in partnership with the Learning Enrichment Foundation.
Lenita made her first attempt at making pumpkin cake this afternoon that she will share with the after school program participants later but insists that her real specialty and favourite baking time is reserved for carrot cake. The kids seem to agree.
When asked what has been her most interesting learning experience so far, she mentions the skill set involved in exact measuring and the value of pristine presentations but what stands out most for Lenita has been meeting and getting to know each catering customer in the community. Like the CIty of Toronto staff who ordered a catered lunch for a meeting and the conversation she had with member of the local Lions Club – Customers who make a real effort to support local entrepreneurs while encouraging youth learning and employment opportunities in Weston.
If you are between 18 and 29 yrs old and would like to receive Safe Food Handling Certification, Smart Serve and move towards a job in the catering and food industry, please drop by the centre and introduce yourself – the next session starts mid-May 2017
If you would like to place your next catering order – contact Noella@frontlines.to or call 416-244-7017 today!