What is Fort Worx?
Fort Worx is a 16-week pre-apprenticeship program designed for adults interested in careers in the foodservice industry offered in collaboration with Tarrant Area Food Bank, Taste Project, The Culinary School of Fort Worth, supported by Workforce Solutions of Tarrant County and United Way. The 16-week program provides training and on-the-job learning in the fundamentals of food preparation.

What are the days and hours of the program?  Where does training take place?
Training sessions are Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 3:30 pm and take place at Tarrant Area Food Bank for the first half of the program (8 weeks). The second half of the program (8 weeks) takes place at Taste Community Restaurant.

What does a participant get for completing the pre-apprenticeship program?
Participants who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion and will sit for the American Culinary Federation exam for Fundamentals Cook Certificate; a chef jacket and copies of their resume which we will help them tailor to seek employment in the culinary industry.  Most importantly, they will have received the experience necessary to work in any commercial kitchen, and actual work history from their time in the program to attest to that ability.

What kind of jobs does this program prepare apprentices to perform?
Overall, apprentices are well prepared for entry-level positions in fast-casual restaurants, food manufacturing, and institutional foodservice operations, such as hospitals, hotels, and corporate cafeterias. We believe that the program will prepare apprentices to continue to excel in their employment to potentially achieve supervisory roles as well.

Can I still participate if there are certain days/times I cannot attend?
Apprentices must be able to attend course sessions regularly to benefit from this program. It is very important that apprentices have reliable childcare and transportation, and backup plans are arranged in case their regular means of childcare or transportation become unavailable. We understand that certain obligations or unforeseen circumstances – such as court dates, family emergencies, illness, etc., may require an occasional absence.

Can an apprentice be dismissed from the program prior to completion?
Yes – Apprentices, who do not adhere to program policies, including regular attendance, proper dress, and professional behavior, will be dismissed from the training.

Application and Selection Process:

Can I submit an application on behalf of someone I know?
We can only accept applications from the person who will attend the program. If you know someone you think would be a good candidate for this program, recommend the program to them and have them attend one of the information sessions.  Attendance at one of the info sessions is the first step in the interview process.

What age do you have to be to participate?
Applicants must be 18 years old by the start date of the program. 

What are the minimum requirements to apply for this program?
All applicants should:

  • be able to read, write, and understand English
  • have the dexterity and endurance necessary to work for hours in a commercial kitchen which could include heavy lifting, standing for extended periods of time and repetitive hand motion in a fast-paced environment
  • have suitable housing, transportation, and childcare arrangements
  • be clean and sober for at least the past 6 months

What sorts of individuals are good candidates for this program?
We seek unemployed and underemployed people who have a genuine enthusiasm for foodservice and can commit to the effort required to learn skills that lead to success in the industry. It should be noted that this is a job-training program, not a culinary school. 

Do you need prior training or experience in the foodservice industry?
This program is geared towards people who have no previous experience in a professional kitchen or culinary training, but possess a passion for food preparation and a sincere desire and capacity to work in food service as a full-time occupation.

How will a criminal record or history of substance abuse affect my chance of being selected?
Applicants must consent to a background check. We do accepted applicants that possess misdemeanors or felonies on a case-by-case basis. For those who have a record of prior criminal activity or substance abuse, we look for evidence that such problems are not currently an issue, and that a support system is in place for the duration of the program.

How will disabilities or health issues affect my ability to participate?

Working in a commercial kitchen can require standing for extended periods of time, occasionally lifting 50 pounds, and repetitive hand motions. Applicants should consider whether they have the endurance and dexterity to perform this kind of work to be a viable candidate for employment in this field.

What might disqualify a candidate or reduce chances of being selected to participate in this program?
Our goal is to help those with obstacles to finding employment gain the skills and expertise to overcome those obstacles. Individuals with personal challenges that have made securing employment difficult should not hesitate to apply if they are genuinely interested in foodservice careers and willing to make a serious commitment to the hard work involved. We recognize that every individual has a unique background and set of challenges; therefore, we evaluate eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Financial Concerns:

Will participating affect my unemployment assistance?
Since apprentices are paid for the on-the-job learning portion of the program, participating is likely to affect your benefits.  Anyone interested in applying should discuss with their case manager about their interest in the program.

Can I continue to work or seek employment while taking this course?
As long as the apprentice is available to attend during regular program hours (Monday thru Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) they are free to work during evenings and weekends.

We encourage apprentices to seek employment even during the training period, but strongly encourage them to complete the training.

Are there any special materials or clothing a trainee needs for this class?
Black pants and comfortable, slip-resistant closed-toed black shoes are required. If apprentices do not possess black pants, we can recommend some affordable places to get them. All other materials and attire will be provided.

What sort of assistance do you offer in finding employment after completion of the course?
As part of the Apprenticeship program, placement services and opportunities for continued training are provided.