ARCHS' Culinary Arts Program graduated 12 female ex-offenders on July 23, after they completed an eight-week class at St. Louis Community College - Forest Park.
Participants in the program are currently under state or federal supervision with probation and parole officers in St. Louis City or County. They received academic culinary training leading to "ServSafe" certification. They will also receive job training from St. Louis Community College and job placement, wrap around social services support, and life skills preparation from Employment Connection.
ARCHS' program will allow female participants access to traditionally male career paths such as chef, head cook, line cook, institutional cook, and more in the culinary field. According to a National Institute of Corrections Report, the number of incarcerated women has skyrocketed, at rates exceeding men.
"This unique partnership is a crucial component to decreasing recidivism dates for these participants," said Les Johnson, ARCHS' Vice President of Family and Community Programs. "They will have access to training by a nationally accredited and recognized culinary arts school, which will assist them with a second chance."
ARCHS partners with Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, Employment Connection, and St. Louis Community College to provide this program to female ex-offenders.