Cook to connect

This innovative project facilitates the transition of newcomers into the workplace through a program that provides valuable culinary skills and employment support in the food service industry.

The Cook to Connect (C2C) project promotes the successful integration, retention, and labour market attachment of newcomers to Canada while enriching the food culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. Participants gain skills in the operation of a food business while working in a support kitchen to hone skills developed from in-class training or from their home country. These skills include food preparation, financial transactions, customer service, and budgeting.

Group of diverse individuals wearing chef clothing in a class photo.

This initiative offers a gateway to cultural cloud kitchens – a catering concept that arose in the pandemic. Cloud kitchens are commercial facilities purpose-built to produce food specifically for delivery to customers. These kitchens are becoming the new normal and are socially distanced to be safer for staff and customers.

This will be the first work experience in Canada for many of the newcomers. The support and experience they receive through C2C will help create clearer pathways to employment integration for them in the broader community. The project will employ 36 participants in three cohorts of 12 participants over 2 years.

Future Skills Centre is investing $1,119,330 in this 2-year project, which is designed as a starting point to develop a broad-based community program in the delivery of a multi-faceted, innovative, and tailored training program for newcomers interested in working in the food service industry or establishing their own home-based food business.

Evaluation Strategy

This project is evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation focuses on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.