FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Fort Worx?
Fort Worx is a 16-week, tuition-free foodservice job training program. The purpose is to help people with barriers to finding employment gain the skills and expertise to overcome those obstacles. Apprentices receive paid work experience and job placement support.
Who provides the training?
Fort Worx is a collaboration between Tarrant Area Food Bank, Taste Project and The Culinary School of Fort Worth, supported by Texas Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County. Apprentices spend the first 8 weeks learning the fundamentals of cooking in a production kitchen at Tarrant Area Food Bank. The final 8 weeks is a paid externship working in the full-service Taste Community Restaurant.
When are classes held?
Classes begin at Tarrant Area Food Bank: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. Externship at Taste Community Restaurant: Tuesday – Sunday, 7 AM – 4PM. Apprentices must have availability to work both Saturdays and Sundays during the externship.
What credentials are earned?
Participants who complete the program will receive a Fort Worx Certificate of Completion and will be qualified as Certified Fundamentals Cooks through the American Culinary Federation (ACF) upon completion of the program and passing the ACF exam.
What kind of jobs does this program lead to?
Apprentices are well prepared for cook-level positions in fast-casual restaurants, and foodservice operations, such as hospitals, hotels, schools, and corporate cafeterias.
Can I still participate if there are certain days/times I cannot attend?
Apprentices must be able to attend regularly to benefit from this program. It is very important to have reliable childcare and transportation, with backup plans 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.
What are the minimum requirements to apply for this program?
- Have the dexterity and endurance necessary to work for 8 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
- Be able to read, write, and understand English
- Have suitable housing, transportation, and childcare
- Be clean and sober for at least the past 6 months
Are there any pre-requisites to the Fort Worx program?
No previous experience in a professional kitchen or culinary training is required. We seek people who have a genuine passion for food preparation and a sincere desire and capacity to work in food service as a full-time occupation.
Will you consider someone with a criminal record or history of substance abuse?
We do accept 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. Applicants must consent to drug testing.
Will health issues affect my ability to participate?
Working in a commercial kitchen requires standing for extended periods of time, repetitive hand motions, lifting 50 pounds and exposure to extreme heat and cold. Applicants should consider whether they have the endurance and dexterity to perform this kind of work.
What is the COVID-19 safety protocol?
The program takes place in a commercial kitchen where social distancing is not possible. We require apprentices to be fully vaccinated to protect their health and safety of others. Religious exceptions may be honored if a reasonable accommodation can be made.
Will participating affect my unemployment assistance?
Apprentices are paid $14.00 per hour so participating is likely to affect your benefits.
What is the application process?
Complete a Fort Worx application.
Enroll in the Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County program. Acceptance in the Fort Worx program is contingent upon eligibility and full enrollment in the Workforce Solutions program.
Attend a Fort Worx Information Session which includes an overview of the program, an introduction to the Chef Instructors and participation in a group interview.