Since January 2018, the St. Clair College Chatham Campus Cafeteria has served meals and tasty treats through a partnership with Community Living Chatham-Kent.
Chef Stan Spanos oversees the operation, and staff at the cafeteria. Chef Stan has worked in the food industry for some time, and was pleasantly surprised by the collaboration between the College and Community Living Chatham-Kent. “It has been enjoyable getting to know everyone; it takes a village”. Three of the employees working in the cafeteria are people supported by Community Living Chatham-Kent.
Samantha Johnson has enjoyed her time learning, working within the cafeteria, and earning $14.00 per hour. Sam’s role is preparing food for the day, chopping vegetables, making cookies, and cleaning. Sam says, “Learning about how the kitchen works has been the best part of working at the Cafeteria. The people are really nice and friendly.” Sam has seen people she went to high school with attending the College. She is proud that she is working and showing others what she can do. “I feel confident, and awesome!”
The collaboration between the College and Community Living Chatham-Kent is proof that a successful inclusive work environment is possible. Chef Stan described the relationship between employees of the College, including work study students, and Community Living Chatham-Kent to be of value to all. Employees benefit from the work experience, and the College benefits from a positive, and supportive community partner.
Community Living Chatham-Kent has a seven year working relationship with the College through the JOBWORX – Employment Services Program. JOBWORX provides pre-employment training, placement, and coaching to assist people to obtain and maintain competitive employment.
The St. Clair College Chatham Campus cafeteria will operate until the end of April 2018, and then resume again in the Fall.