Capstone: Making Our Program Better

This month, we piloted a new version of our final program tier—professional development and externships.

Many times, externships can feel like a “bucket of ice water”: the people are new, the food is new, the schedule is new…everything is new. It can be overwhelming, and it didn’t work for everyone. Our program staff wanted to come up with a way to scaffold the path into independent employment so that more trainees could achieve success.

In our new model, eight of our trainees participated in two weeks of half day “stages” at a Ruby Slipper site, then returned to Liberty’s Kitchen in the afternoon for lessons and coaching on resumes, cover letters, and interviewing. As a growing, busy, multi-location breakfast and lunch restaurant, The Ruby Slipper was an ideal partner for our trainees to get a taste of working in a new environment while still maintaining confidence in their newly developed kitchen and café skills.

Managers and staff from The Ruby Slipper participated in an orientation at Liberty’s Kitchen prior to hosting their first “stages” and completed detailed weekly assessments to assist us in coaching each trainee towards their next best self. Following the two weeks, trainees transitioned into three-week externships at businesses they applied to during their professional development training. They ended up all over the city, at The Ruby Slipper Café, Bennachin, The Juju Bag, Bittersweet Confections, and Sassafras. Trainees reported a stronger sense of confidence and skill thanks to their focused two weeks at The Ruby Slipper.

Thanks to The Ruby Slipper for investing your time and energy in furthering the development of our young people!


–Posted by Harry Schnur 

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