KRA/Norfolk Team Tackles Severe Barrier to Employment

ServSafe LogoCareer Agent Veronica Edmonds, KRA/VIEW (Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare)–operated for the Department of Human Services–reports, “All Norfolk restaurants must have a ServSafe-certified manager onsite at all times.  Thus, we knew that incorporating ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification into our Voc-Ed Program would open doors to employment for our customers.

What we didn’t know, at the time, was just how valuable certification would become for ‘John’, who presented one of the most severe employment challenges: he was a registered sex offender.”

Through Voc-Ed classes, John received a Microsoft Digital Literacy Certification, but it was hard work and his “love of cooking” that earned him dual ServSafe certifications as a Food Handler and Food Protection Manager.

As a team, Veronica and John’s Employment Specialist and Instructor explored job opportunities with area food-industry employers, which eventually met with success when he was hired by a local fast-food chain.  After awhile, John used that work experience as a stepping stone to a full-time, better-paying job with a Norfolk tavern.

“John is no longer feeling desperate about his past, or discouraged about his future.  He has expressed deep gratitude to KRA/VIEW for helping him find a new path to self-sufficiency and stability for him and his family.”