On November 5th the team at Kitchens for Good, Catering and Events had the pleasure of hosting the San Diego Workforce Conference – Identifying, Tackling and Closing the Skills Gap, presented by the San Diego Workforce Partnership. This full day conference and sit down luncheon took place at the Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego, California, in Celebration Hall, our banquet hall offering 6 break-out rooms, soaring ceilings, and full AV capabilities.

With breaking the cycle of unemployment and poverty so core to our mission at Kitchens for Good, we were thrilled to be part of such an important event. Five-hundred people gathered to participate in a discussion on an in depth look at newly released labor market information and regional workforce development initiatives underway across San Diego County, a topic that was especially beneficial for finding partners and forming strategic alliances.

The panel’s moderator was Tina Ngo Bartel, Director of Business Programs and Research at the San Diego Workforce Partnership. The topics discussed were: Identifying the Skills Gap, Tackling the Skills Gap and Closing the Skills Gap.

While attendees were enjoying lunch that was prepared by our skilled chefs in our in-house kitchen, the Honorable Kevin Faulconer, Mayor, City of San Diego “Welcomed the attendees and shared the City of San Diego’s support and commitment to connecting job seekers to our regional innovation economy. He also talked about his support of efforts to lower the youth unemployment rate. Mayor Faulconer is a strong supporter of CONNECT2Careers, our youth employment program. He spoke of his first job as a paper boy and how first jobs make a difference in career paths and work-readiness skills that can last a lifetime.” Heather Milne Barger, Vice President of Communications at San Diego Workforce Partnership said.

Aviva Paley, Director of Programs of Kitchens for Good, was one of the few selected to give a Lightning Talk to share with the crowd about its new Culinary Job Training Program and its plans to close the skills gap in this field. In four short minutes Aviva excited the audience about the possibility of kitchens to transform people’s lives and careers.

Aviva Paley, Director of Programs


The event’s menu far surpassed the attendees expectations which included some of our specialty foods: house rolls; grilled Mediterranean vegetables; a mixed-green salad with poached pear, gorgonzola cheese, candied walnuts and white balsamic vinaigrette; Origins Hummus with grilled pita bread; herb roasted potatoes; with lemon-herb chicken and Mediterranean beef tips, both served with grilled onion and peppers.



This event exemplifies the great use of this space for conferences and large meetings—with room to seat 500 people at round tables, state of the art audio visual, and gourmet event food that one participant tweeted as “The best event food I ever had!”

Tina Ngo Bartel said “The staff at Kitchens for Good, Catering and Events is easy to work with, very accommodating. Attendees gave raving reviews of the food. Everybody thought it was the best food at one of our conferences.” She also commented that “The food is affordable and helps a good cause.”

Kitchens for Good, Catering and Events is a full service catering and event company with our offices, internal event spaces and kitchen located in the Jacob’s Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego, CA. We serve locally sourced, fresh ingredients and offer high-quality meal options that bring catering to a whole new plateau. We infuse our passion for cooking with healthy, farm-to-table produce and enjoy catering events like this because it allows us to demonstrate our seasonal menus while supporting a cause we love.

Kitchens for Good, Catering and Events is the social enterprise arm of Kitchens for Good, a non-profit whose mission is to “break the cycles of food waste, poverty and hunger through innovative programs in workforce training, healthy food production and social enterprise.”

Written by Jessica Dearborn

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