Jobs and Training for Unemployed at Prescott Community Café

Chino Valley High School student Rebecca Eltringham, 17, and Chef Bryan Nowicki prep for a catering event later in the day Friday afternoon at Open Door in Prescott. Nowicki is working with several charitable organizations to open a Community Cafe Training Center in downtown Prescott.

Prescott AZ – Thanks to Chef Bryan Nowicki and a group of local charitable organizations, out-of-work individuals can have temporary jobs and a place to learn useful skills at the “Community Cafe.” Nowicki currently serves as executive chef and director of the food program at the Open Door in Prescott.

Nowicki believes it might lead to a number of good things in the community. Not only would the previously unemployed be able to find jobs of their own, but they also would add to a pool of culinary employees for other restaurants in town.

Jean Littlehale, senior program director for Catholic Charities, agrees with Nowicki. She believes that the Community Café could lead to lots of benefits. She points out that people who have long been unemployed often have “life skill” problems that keep them from keeping a steady job. In addition to teaching the necessary culinary skills, the Community Café would work on those life issues, Littlehale said.

For instance, she said: “How do you problem-solve without losing your job?” The training will delve into issues such as what employees should do if they encounter car trouble or if their babysitter quits suddenly.

“It may seem slight, but it is those slight things that make a difference between having a job or not having a job,” Littlehale said. “We asked, ‘what would make a difference in our town?'” Littlehale said. “Everyone said what we really need are jobs.”

That led to the idea for the Community Café. Along with Catholic Charities and Nowicki, also on board are Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, the Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE), and the Coalition for Compassion and Justice.

Nowicki, or known simply as Chef Bryan in the community, already provides a version of the training at Open Door. He explained that he brings on volunteers who are out of work for a variety of reasons. The volunteers help with the cooking for the free meals that Open Door serves four times a week at its West Gurley Street location, along with the catering that Nowicki does through his Chef Bryan catering.

“Guys were coming through, and they were out of jobs,” Nowicki explained Friday as he prepared the food for a catered party later that night. He mentors them, and helps them find permanent jobs elsewhere.

The project is a good example of the efforts that the active and helpful community in Prescott exerts. It is this sense of community that attracts many homeowners who are in search of a good Arizona community. If you are still looking for that place you’ll call home, contact Dorn Homes, the number one custom home builder in Arizona. Dorn-built new Arizona homes are comfortable, convenient, energy efficient, and are situated in homey Prescott communities.




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