Santa Maria has been partnering with BLOC Industries since 2016 to provide unique work experience opportunities for youth in our community. Through this partnership, participants are taught new trade skills, including carpentry and screen printing. Participants then use these skills to create custom orders, which are sold in stores throughout Cincinnati.
In June of 2019, BLOC began partnering with The Kroger Co. and Chef Anthony Jordan to offer a culinary training program in Lower Price Hill, providing an opportunity for Santa Maria’s younger program participants to learn kitchen skills and work towards obtaining employment in Cincinnati’s rapidly-growing restaurant industry. Through this 8-week curriculum, students work alongside Chef Jordan to learn health and safety standards, knife skills, sanitation skills, and different food preparation techniques.
In August of 2019, Jawann Blair and Lametrics Coleman, both clients of Santa Maria’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP), graduated from the teaching kitchen. Both students also received their ServSafe Certification – a food and beverage safety certificate administered by the National Restaurant Association that is required by most restaurants for their management staff. After graduating, Jawann was connected with The Kroger Co., landing a job in the meat and seafood department at their new downtown location in Over-The-Rhine!