Rivera was released from federal prison in November 2020. Upon his release, he was determined to set a new path forward – for himself and his family.
Not long after his release, Rivera heard about the Food Depository’s Certified Logistics and Warehouse Technician program, a paid supply chain industry job training available to unemployed or underemployed Cook County residents. The students work directly with the Food Depository’s operations team, receiving hands-on instruction on the warehouse floor.
The training is one of two programs offered as part of the Food Depository’s new supply chain career path program, which began in early 2021. This represents an expansion and evolution of our workforce development programming, which for two decades has specialized in foodservice and hospitality careers.
In July, Rivera was a member of the program’s first graduating class. With his new certifications and experience in tow, he accepted a job on the Food Depository’s receiving team, helping load and unload trucks and stocking deliveries of food.
The program, he said, has made him realize that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.
“From day one, they greeted me with open arms. Not too many people are willing to give you that chance, and here they gave me that chance.”
Jose Rivera, graduate of the Food Depository’s workforce development program
In fiscal year 2021, 129 students completed one or more workforce development programs to start their new in-demand careers.
In addition to offering multiple warehouse and supply chain programs, the Food Depository also offers front-of-house customer service excellence and food handler trainings for careers in the hospitality industry.
For the first time, all programs pay $15 per hour and offer a completion bonus. In addition to receiving industry-specific certifications, students also receive professional development and job placement support.
At the Food Depository, we know access to employment is one of the root causes of hunger. We’re immensely grateful to our donors, staff and students who continue to support our workforce development program and help us connect people to needed jobs.
- Food pantries continue to meet elevated demand
- Prepared meals reach neighbors with unique needs
- Food Depository network expands to support neighbors in need
- Prioritizing food equity
- Through ongoing crisis, volunteers rise to the challenge
- Strong anti-hunger policies lessen crisis
- Feeding kids during a year of disruption
- Paid job training programs provide new start
- Serving a heightened need