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UTC Supports Culinary Job Training Program in Washington D.C.

December 2, 2015

From left: Alicia Tillman, Cindy Jimenez and David Manke from UTC Global Government Relations work with Takia Jenkins, a student in the UTC sponsored 102nd Culinary Job Training program class.
Edwin Weddle, a DC Central Kitchen student with Tim McBride, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, United Technologies.
Joan Cromwell, a DC Central Kitchen student with Maggie Maurer, UTC Government Relations.

United Technologies has sponsored DC Central Kitchen’s (DCCK) 102nd Culinary Job Training program class in Washington D.C. Founded in 1989, DC Central Kitchen uses the repurposing of wasted food and the production of nutritious meals to offer culinary training and employment opportunities to jobless, at-risk adults. 

“It is a great privilege to be able to support such a unique organization that aligns with many of the strong values we believe in at UTC,” said Tim McBride, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, United Technologies. “More importantly, it is very remarkable to see people make significant and positive changes in their lives through the Culinary Job Training Program.”  

DCCK was an early advocate of fighting food waste, recovering leftover prepared food for use in meals it then distributed to shelters, halfway houses and nonprofits across Washington D.C. The program soon began recruiting adults who relied on its meals, often those struggling with homelessness, addiction, incarceration, or trauma, to enroll in three months of rigorous culinary training, before helping those women and men find jobs in the hospitality industry.

United Technologies staff have volunteered alongside the members of the 102nd class, fileting fresh fish, slicing potatoes and preparing fresh salads for thousands of D.C. residents. In early 2016, UTC representatives will judge a critical cook-off between the students at the midpoint of their training and will provide keynote remarks at their graduation ceremony.

The DCCK Culinary Job Training program has won national acclaim, producing 601 graduates with a 90 percent employment rate since the recession of 2008 alone. The Kitchen even creates job opportunities for its own graduates through its social enterprise portfolio, which serves another 6,800 scratch-cooked, locally sourced meals in low-income DC schools every day and employs 60 of DCCK’s former students full-time.

“Our partnership with UTC has been transformational,” says DCCK CEO Michael Curtin, Jr. “By sponsoring an entire culinary job training program class, UTC will empower 18 women and men to break the cycle of poverty and enter our city’s workforce.”

By providing valuable job skills to unemployed adults, engaging them in the production of nutritious meals made from wasted food, and addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty in Washington, D.C., UTC’s partnership with DC Central Kitchen embodies the company’s focus areas of building sustainable cities and vibrant communities.

​Click here​ to watch PBS NewsHour's story on DCCK.