The hospitality industry may not be the most stable during the COVID-19 pandemic. But The Warehouse, in partnership with the Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) and JPMorgan Chase, is looking to the future with its new Teens in Motion: Hospitality workforce development program.
Tyler Akin, chef-partner of Le Cavalier in the Hotel du Pont, will be the coordinator of the hospitality internship track of the program, which he developed alongside his BPG partners at the Hotel du Pont in response to the negative impact he saw COVID-19 having on career advancement opportunities in hospitality.
“While restaurants are facing historic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel strongly that American dining culture will bounce back — along with the vibrant job market it creates,” Akin said in a statement. “With Teens in Motion, we aim to share the tools for Delaware’s next generation of culinary leaders to find success and meaning in their work.”
Wilmington-born Akin, will mentor two-thirds of the interns in the program and will work with BPG to develop the curriculum and procure and vet candidates, who will be placed within partnering restaurants.
The program will serve up to 25 teens every quarter in 90-day increments (up to 100 teens a year) and will include soft skills training in addition to restaurant and hospitality training. After completion of the first session of Teens in Motion, there will be eight-week paid internships available across BPG’s restaurant establishments and their tenant partners, currently including Le Cavalier, Bardea and Stitch House.
Teens will then be ready for employment at either The Warehouse or with an external partner or employer.
“We have been so inspired by The Warehouse and the work they are doing for our city’s teens,” said Sarah Lamb, VP of design and marketing and coordinator of BPG Cares, the real estate developer’s community outreach initiative. “We wanted to align with them on programming and thought that a hospitality training initiative, and Chef Tyler Akin’s passion to bring opportunity to the youth in his industry, would be a great way to get involved.”
The Warehouse, part of REACH Riverside, is a nonprofit in Northeast Wilmington serving city youth. Teens aged 13 to 19 interested in the Teens in Motion program can register The Warehouse’s RecDesk platform.