A county program that requires county general relief recipients to receive orientation, job skill preparation and job skills assessments has honored the St. Joseph Center in Venice for its training program.

The Los Angeles County GROW (General Relief Opportunity for Work) Program for unemployed and low-income individuals is assisted by the St. Joseph Center culinary training program, which has trained and placed in employment 29 men and women during the past year.

The GROW Program provides classes in motivation, self-esteem building, practical skills, interviewing and job search.

St. Joseph Center recruits students for its culinary program from the GROW Program.

“The students we recruit from GROW are between the ages of 35 and 55,” says Thomasine Howlett, St. Joseph Center culinary training coordinator.

“We’re in the business of growing jobs, too. We help people obtain marketable skills to find permanent self-sustaining employment,” Howlett added.

The St. Joseph Center culinary training program for unemployed men and women interested in the food service industry provides six weeks of classes and four weeks of internship at local hospitals, colleges and restaurants.

The program offers food preparation, life skills coaching, resumé preparation and bus tokens for transportation to interviews, Howlett said.

Five of last year’s 40 St. Joseph Center culinary program graduates have been hired as permanent employees at UCLA.

St. Joseph Center assists more than 8,000 working poor and homeless adults and children, veterans and seniors each year to achieve self-sufficiency through case management, food distributions, child care, monitoring and job training, says Frank Loweree, center spokesman.

Information, (310) 396-6468, ext. 328 or www.stjosephctr.org