We offer the only bilingual culinary job training program in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.
We target unemployed and underemployed adults from low-income groups. We began as an organization focused on serving Hispanic immigrants, but thanks to the success of our model, we have been able to expand our services to many other underserved populations as well. La Cocina VA now serves immigrants and refugees from across the globe, veterans, returning citizens, and victims of domestic violence and other traumas.
We tailor the content of our training to what the food service industry requires, offering employers a workforce of employees with comprehensive culinary knowledge, industry certifications, and life and employment skills.
In turn, we offer our clients access to higher-skilled and better-paying jobs to provide a sustainable source of income for themselves and their families.
How does our program work?
Breaking Down Barriers to Employment
We tackle obstacles to employment faced via a comprehensive program that includes:
All participants in our program have access to full scholarships, covering tuition, materials, and a weekly transportation stipend.
Graduates obtain industry-recognized certifications that differentiate them from other candidates.
Our program includes coursework in Job Readiness, Vocational English, and Financial Literacy, all of which help prepare students to effectively and more confidently navigate the workplace.
We work with local partners to provide housing, food, childcare, mental health services, legal aid, and other forms of assistance that help our participants gain the stability needed to pursue their professional goals.
We assist all students in obtaining employment opportunities in the food service industry that work for them—taking into account their needs, interests, and skills.
Our graduates receive employment assistance and guidance for 2 years after graduation and belong to the La Cocina VA family forever.
FIGHTING HUNGER & MALNUTRITION
We promote healthy eating in the community, both by educating those who cook and by providing meals to those in need.
We reduce food waste by recovering unsold food from local providers.