FareStart Partnership

FareStart Partnership

RITE Program

Correctional Industries’(CI) has long held an important role in offender reentry. The offender workforce development specialists work with volunteer offenders on reentry planning while they are still incarcerated. However, their efforts do not stop after release. CI has enhanced offender workforce development through community partnerships to help provide job readiness, job placement, and vocational education. One such community partnership is with FareStart in Seattle.

FareStart

FareStart is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Since 1992, FareStart has provided opportunities for nearly 7,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving over 6 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children. A recent focus of the Seattle non-profit is the justice involved population.

CI has an agreement with FareStart, at no cost to the offender, to provide CI offenders with culinary job training and employment services. Offenders who are interested, eligible and pass initial screening are selected to participate in a 16 week comprehensive, hands-on training program in the culinary arts. The training takes place in FareStart’s professional restaurant, catering and contract kitchens in Seattle. Profits from FareStart’s contract and catering businesses, as well as the restaurant, which features lunch during the week and Thursday Guest Chef Night, help support the training program.

FareStart has their own “Recipe for Success.” The four main ingredients to this program are culinary training, individual case management, life skills training and job placement and retention services. The environment is a structured, compassionate, and supportive training program that models and expects professional workplace behavior. Participating CI offenders will know their path in advance of reentering society and will go through the application and Offender Release Plan (ORP) process before releasing to the FareStart program.

Since the initial discussion with FareStart, during the summer of 2013, CI has successfully enrolled five (5) offenders from WSP, four (4) of whom are in the early application phase; three (3) offenders from Coyote Ridge, with three (3) others in different stages of the application phase; and two (2) offenders from Airway Heights, also in the early application phase. Over the next three (3) years, FareStart has allocated 104 spots in their program for CI offenders. We filled 5 of the 20 spots planned for 2014.