iCater Job Training Program

The iCater Job Training Program provides culinary training to our trainees as they build a pathway to self-sufficiency within our supportive community. We have partnered with more than 1,300 trainees since the program was founded in 1991.

Our participants come to us from diverse backgrounds and different life experiences. iCater’s goal to engage and support our trainees as they build skills and resilience through work experience for a successful return to employment, housing and stability.

iCater’s 24-week Job Training Program offers paid training and free workshops as trainees cultivate expertise and competencies in the culinary field. Participants graduate having accessed a multitude of opportunities: hands-on experience, ServSafe certification, as well as training in mindfulness, digital and financial Literacy, and a variety of employment-related programs.

How It Works

Skills Trainees Will Learn

Culinary Skills

Trainees learn, practice, and fortify a variety of culinary techniques. Working hands-on alongside our seasoned chefs, trainees pick up a sense of familiarity and confidence around the kitchen and learn how to operate a variety of kitchen equipment. Expert chefs from around Boston also come in to share their expertise with trainees through Visiting Chef demonstrations every week. Trainees take the abundance of hard skills they develop into the culinary sector as competitive job candidates.

Digital Literacy

Trainees build a digital understanding of the modern professional world. Familiarizing themselves with email, word processing, cloud storage, search engines, LinkedIn and more, trainees bolster their computer skills while learning relevant job-hunting skills. Participants craft resumes and cover letters, utilize employment search engines, and discover their digital footprint. The core value of this class lies in helping trainees shed the intimidation of a rapidly digitizing job market and embrace an open, comprehensive digital education at their own pace.

Financial Literacy and Professionalism

This volunteer-run program provides a deeper understanding of personal finance and professionalism in the workplace. Make Your Change Count works with participants to encourage sustainability in these areas. Participants explore how to run a budget, navigate the modern banking system, and manage their credit. Utilizing these skills, trainees learn how to sustain their livelihood for years to come.


The Engage Mindfulness Institute In Mindfulness class, trainees cultivate a growth mindset for both their personal and professional lives. Program participants learn strategies to increase resiliency through a series of tools, including breathing techniques, psychological models, and an awareness of personal thought patterns. Throughout the course, trainees engage limiting core beliefs as they embrace adaptability and growth in the workplace and beyond.

ServSafe Certification

Each of our trainees has the opportunity to earn their ServSafe Food Handler’s Certification, recognized and valued across the food service industry. Our executive chef teaches the ServSafe course over an 8-week period. Trainees collaborate with our chefs in the classroom and the kitchen, gaining an extensive comprehension of food handling skills to ensure the safest kitchen practices.

Work Readiness

Trainees develop themselves as professionals and team players. The Job Readiness workshops equip trainees with a wide variety of pragmatic professional skills highly valued in our job market today. Building upon a robust set of collaborative skills, trainees learn and exercise strategies in conflict resolution, cultural competency, and goal-setting.

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