Good food, good cause

Social OTR small platesThe newest fine-dining restaurant in Cincinnati will feed your soul as it fills your stomach.

Social OTR, which opened February 7 in Over-the-Rhine, is a high-end dining laboratory – a collaboration between Findlay Market and CityLink Center that is preparing would-be chefs for a career as it prepares food for customers.

The restaurant’s mission is to address the shortage of food-service workers while providing a career path for individuals who face employment barriers. Those individuals participate in a 16-week training program, including four weeks at CityLink Center where they learn basic employment skills and 12 weeks in the kitchen at Social OTR.

During the four-week session at CityLink Center, Cincinnati Works staff lead a modified version of our JumpStart job-search-readiness training, covering topics such as interviewing and understanding workplace expectations. Participants split their time during that four-week session between classroom instruction and hands-on training in the CityLink kitchen.

“It is great to see how they grow,” said Tamiko Mauldin, Director of the Cincinnati Works office at CityLink. “Because they are here, working in the kitchen, they are able to take what we teach them – the soft skills – and they put it to use within the next hour. They can practice it right away, so it really sticks and they really see the value of what we are teaching.”

The third cohort of 12 participants is currently in session at CLC. Members of the first two cohorts are working in the kitchen at Social OTR.