REfire Culinary is a collaborative effort of the Tallahassee hospitality sector to provide culinary training to individuals with felony convictions to empower them to find employment in the hospitality industry. REfire provides eight weeks of professional instruction, food safety training materials and five-year certifications, uniforms and utensils, social services support, and foodservice industry employment assistance for people who were formerly incarcerated. The REfire program is available at no cost to students who receive a training wage while learning, critical components of success. REfire staff tracks participants for one year after graduation and maintains strong bonds with employers and partners.
PERCENTAGE OF GRADUATES UNDER 40
PERCENTAGE OF MALE GRADUATES
PERCENTAGE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN GRADUATES
With donor support, REfire provides students with full scholarships to cover uniforms, ServSafe certification, as well as the food necessary for training. Expanding beyond the 8-week hands-on training and classroom instruction, REfire provides outreach support to connect students with housing opportunities and other social services, training students in resume writing and soft skills for job interviews and life management, and providing a year of follow-up support post-graduation. Since REfire’s launch in the fall of 2017, the program has had 80 graduates, with a recidivism rate of just under 10%. Impressively, 90% of graduates are employed within thirty days of graduation.
When I started REfíre, I was homeless. By the time I finished REfíre, I had my kid, my apartment, and my job. I had the support from Chef and the program to be able to get back into society again and just be a better me.
2019 REfire graduate
I was a young man who made a lot of bad decisions, ended up incarcerated at the age of 19. When I got released, I was 38 years old. That’s when I found REfire. I was able to work and be the best version of myself.
2018 REfire graduate