In 2015, CALSO and JobTrain launched Rendezvous, a social enterprise providing long-term unemployed and underemployed people with on-the-job training in the restaurant and catering industry. Beyond a paycheck, Rendezvous offers socio-professional support, such as assistance in job search and placement services, personal coaching, and career development. 85 people benefit annually from our yearlong program. We bring people back to the job market with a job placement rate of 85%.
For more info, visit Rendezvous
Imani Smothers is a 44-year-old East Palo resident and the mother of three boys. She used to be in a medical assistant program in a local community college but when it did not work out, job counselors pointed her to the Culinary Arts program at JobTrain. Imani was thrilled since she loves to cook and cooks all the time for her sons and her neighbors.
“I loved learning about being a chef in terms of safety and health and how to avoid cross-contamination. I had two job offers when graduating but chose to join the social enterprise because I appreciated being in a supportive environment while I continue to learn.”
Imani was an employee at Rendezvous for a year before moving onto a local line cook job.
Jeffrey is 45 years old. He grew up in East Palo Alto. Jeffrey joined Rendezvous in February 2016 as one of our apprentice line cooks. He graduated from the program mid-March 2017 and is now working full-time as a cook at Google’s Bon Appétit Café.
“Rendezvous, they really opened a whole other career path for me. I learned, I learned so much with Rendezvous. It gave me the experience I needed to be where I am now. Now I’m good, now I’m where I want to be.”
Jeffrey was an employee at Rendezvous for a year before moving onto a cook job at Google’s Bon Appétit Café.
Marcella is a young mom from the East Bay who needed to start working right after having her first child. As Rendezvous’ first administrative assistant, she jumped right into helping the enterprise create processes for taking catering orders, paying invoices and billing clients. .
“Rendezvous definitely impacted my life in a positive way. It gave me the skills I needed to find a job in the office field. Now I have my foot in the door in regards to accounting. I’d like to try that out, and if the time comes I’ll take classes to move up more. The experience opened up career opportunities for me.”
After being Rendezvous' administrative assistant for 12 months, Marcella is now an accounting clerk for Quik Stop.