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SBS NYC small business services

First Course NYC for Businesses

Train and hire entry-level cooks for your restaurant and receive 50 percent training wage reimbursement (up to 210 hours).

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First Course NYC for Businesses is a 14-week collaborative job training program designed to help meet industry demand for qualified entry-level restaurant cooks. We save restaurants valuable time and resources by:

  • Recruiting, screening, and preparing trainees for entry into the workplace
  • Delivering a rigorous, industry-informed culinary skills and job preparedness training before apprentices move into restaurant kitchens
  • Providing direct support to apprentice and kitchen supervisory teams to encourage employee retention

What benefits are there for my company to hire through this service?

Our program reimburses restaurant partners 50 percent of the training wages paid to apprentices during the initial 6 weeks of on-the-job training (up to 210 hours). This supports a longer, more comprehensive onboarding and training plan for new hires to drive greater employee success and retention.

How soon can this service connect me to talent?

Four training cohorts are available each year, with restaurant partners hiring program apprentices approximately every three months.

What skills and credentials will talent have?

All apprentices receive their Food Protection Certificate from NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. Students gain the following skills, as prioritized by program restaurant partners:

  • Basic knife skills
  • Correct kitchen terminology
  • Proper sanitation and storage practices
  • Organization and cleanliness
  • Familiarity with primary cooking techniques

Our apprentices are also known for their reliability, professionalism, and time management skills.

What occupations does this service train for?

First Course NYC apprentices work in food preparation and service-related occupations.

How can this service meet my company's needs?

We can benefit employers who are interested in the following:

  • Hiring for 1-10 positions
  • Hiring full-time
  • Offering mentorship or coaching
  • Participating in industry-specific events
  • Partnering to build a talent pipeline
  • Training an apprentice cohort

Is my company eligible for this service?

Our program engages with respected, full-service restaurants that can provide:

  • Comprehensive training
  • A quality job
  • A clear career path

Professional training and work experience in a restaurant respected by the industry allow our apprentices greater career advancement opportunities.

How do I connect to hire?

Employers interested in program partnership can complete an interest form or email [email protected].

First Course NYC for Businesses is provided by NYC Department of Small Business Services.

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