Pastry Arts Employment Training

Pastry Arts Employment Training

Sunflower’s Pastry Arts Training Program offers skilled, on-the-job training in our state-of-the-art training and production kitchens under the direction of professional pastry chefs and trainers. We also add a few special and necessary ingredients to increase our students’ success:

Designated Support Person. Each student must have such a support person (e.g., family member, social worker, friend, service provider or other person/agency representative) who will provide support during training, internship and employment.

Job Preparation. We help develop good work skills, appropriate work behaviors, attitudes, and values. The industry-specific skills our students learn are applicable to a wide variety of fields and jobs. These highly transferable skills include closely following verbal and visual directions, precision and accuracy, efficiency, and problem-solving.

Training consists of four phases:

  • Phase 1 – Formal Instruction (9 weeks)
  • Phase 2 – On-the-Job training (9 weeks)
  • Phase 3 – Internship (8 weeks)
  • Phase 4 – Securing & Supporting Employment (12 weeks)

Phase 1

Marion Teaching MichaelFormal Instruction (9 weeks)

  • Our customized Pastry Arts Training curriculum focuses on techniques and methods as well as measurement, ingredients, and use of equipment in a professional kitchen. Methods learned include creaming, muffin, two stage, foaming and reverse creaming. Students learn to make a range of pastries including cookies, bars, muffins, quick breads, yeast breast, cakes and specialty desserts.
  • Employee Development Training (EDT) offers a full range of “soft” skills using our interactive curriculum, geared toward being a successful employee. Topics include goal setting, hygiene, time management, personal responsibility, problem solving, efficiency and effective communication.

Phase 2

Hamantaschen TraysOn-the-Job Training (9 weeks)

  • On-the-Job Training consists of 8 weeks (20 hrs/wk) hands-on production in our state-of-the-art pastry kitchen. Students work closely with chefs and bakery staff. They are given the time necessary to perfect their skills, making larger recipes and learning how to follow production guidelines and schedules.
  • ServSafe Certification Training, a national certification program that provides food safety training to industry employees. All students receive the Food Handler’s certification. Some students also prepare for the Food Services Manager exam. This certification is a valuable credential when seeking a job.
  • Our students complete a one-week Café Sunflower rotation during this phase, learning essential customer service and front-of-house operations.

Phase 3

Sean Filling PiesInternship & Employment Search (8 weeks)

  • The Internship enables students to be part of the production team under the supervision and tutelage of the chef-instructors on the production of Sunflower’s pastries and baked goods.
  • Students are paid minimum wage, scheduled 20 hours/week for 8 weeks, 160 hours in total.
  • During the internship, job search topics include resume-writing, interviewing, how to look for a job, a personal portfolio, and the composition of a personal statement.
  • The personal portfolio includes a
    • resume,
    • personal statement and curriculum summary;
    • ServSafe certificate;
    • photographs of student’s work
  • During the job search, Sunflower’s employment developer works closely with students toward getting a job. We work hard to create and maintain strong relationships with area food businesses. As a result, we can direct students to job opportunities. Students are also encouraged to develop their own job leads. We accompany students to interviews as needed and serve as a resource for the student and employers during the application and interview process.

Phase 4

Angel Rolling TortillasEmployment Search & Monitoring (12 weeks)

  • Upon program completion (through Phase 3), Sunflower will continue to guide students through the job search, as needed. Sunflower is committed to remaining engaged in the process of job search and acquisition. Sunflower’s ongoing engagement helps to ensure that prospective employers are knowledgeable about the skills and abilities of our graduates.
  • During the first week of employment, job support includes collaboration with the on-site supervisor and on-going communication with the Sunflower graduate to provide direct support as needed.
  • Sunflower continues ongoing job support with graduate and job supervisor through the first three months of employment. We find this ongoing engagement to be very helpful for the long-term success of our graduates.

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At Sunflower we:

  • Work in a fast-paced kitchen in close proximity to other students and chefs
  • Share space and work calmly and cooperatively with peers
  • Learn in a multi-sensory environment that requires hands-on work with doughs and ingredients
  • Stand for four hours at a time, bend, lift, and move heavy items such as 30-50 pound bags of flour and large heavy trays
  • Routinely use objects found in the kitchen, like chefs’ knives and zesters, in a safe manner

Interested in our Employment Training program? We want to meet you and show you around our kitchen.

To arrange a visit to the Bakery, send an email to programs@sunflowerbakery.org.