Using the Food Service Industry to Create Self-Sufficiency:
Community Kitchen Pittsburgh
Launched in 2013, Community Kitchen Pittsburgh (CKP) is a mission-based, multi- faceted food service company focused on four interrelated areas: food services, food education, food rescue and access, and workforce training. Based on the Catalyst Kitchen model, which operates in more than 70 cities in North America, CKP’s initiatives both train at-risk individuals for jobs in the food services industry and generate earned revenue by providing food services for schools, non-profits, and other organizations. In 2017, more than 60 individuals graduated from CKP’s training program and 92 percent landed jobs with starting wages of more than $11 per hour. Dozens of employers use CKP graduates—who have more than 520 hours of culinary training—to fill vacancies.
With more than 30 new restaurants slated to open in Pittsburgh in the coming year, the city has tremendous need for line and prep cooks—adding to the demand for CKP graduates. Most of CKP’s workforce training program operates on the first floor of a newly renovated building in Hazelwood. A Foundation grant of $600,000 will support CKP’s renovation of the remaining two floors, enabling it to consolidate training, retail, and catering programs, and offer a new diploma program for students.