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The Empowered Youth Culinary Training Center & Cafe is an extension of our Job Development program and will help us offer training, opportunities and jobs to all our students, providing in this way a concrete solution to poverty and inner-city violence.

PROBLEM:  According to Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan, national campaign comprised of more than 350 cross-sector organizations working together to expand economic mobility and close the opportunity gap in America, “It’s been a lost decade for young Americans in terms of employment. In 2000, 45 percent of teens ages 16-19 were employed. By 2011, just 26 percent of teens were employed. Rates for young adults ages 20-24 also plummeted during this time frame, from 72 percent to 60 percent.”  These statistics are even more grim for inner-city youth, whose lack of jobs and opportunities fuel the violence and poverty cycles.

SOLUTION:  Empowered Youth has addressed the high unemployment rate among inner-city youth with the Vibe 305 Food Truck and now wants to expand these opportunities by creating the Vibe 305 Culinary Training Center & Café in Wynwood. The center  will train and employ 50 inner-city young men, who will then go on to permanent employment positions  in the hospitality industry through our community partnership with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

HOW IT WORKS:  The Vibe 305 Food Truck Job Development Program has been operating successfully for almost four years. However, it does not provide enough training and job capacity to meet the needs of all the inner-city young men who need work .  We are the only non-profit food truck in Miami.  We offer a Culinary Class taught by a professional chef, as well as an Entrepreneurship Class taught by students at the University of Miami.  Sixty students have completed the Vibe 305 Food Truck Job Development Program since its inception, with many now working in Miami restaurants and hotels, attending college, or enlisted in the military.  Over 90% of the participants of the Vibe 305 Food Truck Job Development Program have not re-offended.

We have secured the land with the Miami-Dade County at 20 NE 29th Street for a period of 8 years, renewable in 2-year increments as long as we fulfill our mission.

Our  plan is to create a training facility that would serve inner-city young men who are currently falling through the cracks of our educational and employment systems.  Empowered Youth is tirelessly working to raise young leaders and social entrepreneurs who can return to their communities and lift them out of poverty and disparity.

RESTAURANT EXPERTISE:  Our Executive Chef will be Chef Ronnie Vincent, Executive Sous Chef at Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant for the past 15 years.  Chef Ronnie brings sixteen years of progressive performance in the restaurant industry, as Executive Sous Chef, directing a multi-million dollar business for Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant.  Chef Ronnie has also trained and supervised over 120 staff members, and has directed and managed culinary creations to ensure unique and pleasurable customer dining.  He brings his expertise to train our students and create a better future for our inner-city young men.

CARMA PUBLIC RELATINS + MARKETING:  Empowered Youth and the Vibe 305 Culinary Training Center and Café are also in community partnership with Carma Public Relations + Marketing.  Carma PR is the leading multi-disciplined public relations firm in South Florida with a client roster that includes many of the “who’s who” in hotels, restaurants, nightlife, fashion, spirits, and luxury lifestyle goods.  They will provide the PR and Marketing Support that the Vibe 305 Culinary Training Center/Café will need to let the community know the amazing mission of the Vibe 305 Culinary Training Center/Café and all of the lives it will save and transform.

A PERMANENT JOB AND BRIGHT FUTURE AWAIT EMPOWERED YOUTH JOB DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM GRADUATES:  Empowered Youth has formed a Community Partnership with the Florida. Restaurant & Lodging Association.  The FRLA will provide our students with training in all of the technical, front-of-the-office, and customer service skills needed to work successfully in the Hospitality Industry (Customer Service, Food Handler, Food Manager, Alcohol Compliance, and a Professional Development courses).  In addition, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association will also conduct a Job Fair for our graduates that will allow them to obtain permanent jobs in the Hospitality Industry.