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UDW Culinary Arts Academy offers formerly incarcerated free training to reenter workforce

For Immediate Release
Saturday, July 9, 2016

San Diego – Today at the United Domestic Workers of America/AFSCME Local 3930 headquarters in San Diego, the first class of the UDW Culinary Arts Academy graduated. After six months of instruction by Professor Sharon Y. Johnson and Chef Prince Von Coles, graduates have gained valuable skills in baking, marketing, and running a small business – all the tools necessary to be successful in the food services and cottage industry.

The UDW Culinary Arts Academy was founded to provide free skills training to members of the San Diego community, including formerly incarcerated individuals who often face challenges accessing steady employment.

“By reaching out to formerly incarcerated individuals and offering them a chance to gain valuable skills, this program became a conduit to help people who are disenfranchised by policies and systems that are all-too-often built to work against them,” UDW Executive Director Doug Moore told attendees of the graduation.

“We know, and many of you know, that mass incarceration is an injustice that puts far too many of our black and brown neighbors and loved ones behind bars. The Culinary Arts Academy has given UDW a way to give the men and women in our communities who were formerly incarcerated hope and an opportunity to get their lives back on track with real, marketable skills.”

This year was the pilot year of the program. The future goal is to expand the UDW Culinary Arts Academy to more cities in California.


United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a homecare union made up of over 94,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.