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Colorado Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprenticeship

Our Pre-Apprenticeship program offers Colorado residents an entry point to a career in healthy, scratch-cooked K–12 school food. The program is also for current school food employees who want to gain new skills.

Applications for the Fall 2024 Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship open on June 17. Apply by August 24th. The Fall 2024 program begins October 21st and ends December 13th. You can subscribe to our interest list to get notified when the application period opens.

Colorado Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprenticeship

Our Pre-Apprenticeship program offers Colorado residents an entry point to a career in healthy, scratch-cooked K–12 school food. The program is also for current school food employees who want to gain new skills.

Applications for the Fall 2024 Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship open on June 17. Apply by August 24th. The Fall 2024 program begins October 21st and ends December 13th. You can subscribe to our interest list to get notified when the application period opens.

Overview 

The Colorado Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprenticeship provides an entry point to a career in healthy, scratch-cooked school food. This paid, on-the-job learning experience is seven weeks long. 

The Pre-Apprenticeship program was designed for Colorado residents who have little to no experience in school food or scratch cooking. It’s also for current school food workers who want to expand their skills and workers who have been displaced from other careers. 

Overview 

The Colorado Healthy School Food Pathway Pre-Apprenticeship provides an entry point to a career in healthy, scratch-cooked school food. This paid, on-the-job learning experience is seven weeks long. 

The Pre-Apprenticeship program was designed for Colorado residents who have little to no experience in school food or scratch cooking. It’s also for current school food workers who want to expand their skills and workers who have been displaced from other careers. 


Details 

The Pre-Apprenticeship program includes:

  • Seven weeks of paid, on-the-job learning at a participating K–12 school district (12 hours per week)
  • Four online courses through Chef Ann Foundation’s School Food Institute: School Food 101, Ingredients for Healthier Kids, Recipes & Menu Development (20 hours) 
  • Two live virtual learning sessions with scratch cooking and school food experts (1.5 hours each)
  • Networking opportunities with other school food professionals

Pre-Apprenticeship graduates are eligible to advance to the nine-month Apprenticeship program, which takes place over the course of a full school year.

Participants must be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in the U.S.

Details 

The Pre-Apprenticeship program includes:

  • Seven weeks of paid, on-the-job learning at a participating K–12 school district (12 hours per week)
  • Four online courses through Chef Ann Foundation’s School Food Institute: School Food 101, Ingredients for Healthier Kids, Recipes & Menu Development (20 hours) 
  • Two live virtual learning sessions with scratch cooking and school food experts (1.5 hours each)
  • Networking opportunities with other school food professionals

Pre-Apprenticeship graduates are eligible to advance to the nine-month Apprenticeship program, which takes place over the course of a full school year.

Participants must be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in the U.S.


Compensation

Colorado Pre-Apprentices will be paid $14.42 per hour for on-the-job learning in a K–12 school district. This rate is subject to change based on county minimum wages.

  • Individuals who are not already employed by a school food program are expected to work 12 hours per week over seven weeks (84 hours total). 
  • Current school food employees will have a Pre-Apprenticeship work schedule that depends on their existing schedule.

Compensation

Colorado Pre-Apprentices will be paid $14.42 per hour for on-the-job learning in a K–12 school district. This rate is subject to change based on county minimum wages.

  • Individuals who are not already employed by a school food program are expected to work 12 hours per week over seven weeks (84 hours total). 
  • Current school food employees will have a Pre-Apprenticeship work schedule that depends on their existing schedule.

Participating School Districts

The following K-12 school districts are Pre-Apprentice host sites. If you’re interested in becoming a Pre-Apprentice but don’t see a participating host site near you, please email us at co.pathway@chefannfoundation.org

*Only current staff may apply
Aurora Public Schools (Aurora)* Boulder Valley School District (Boulder) Greeley-Evans School District 6 (Greeley) Mesa County Valley School District 51 (Grand Junction)

Apply

Applications open for the Fall 2024 Colorado Pre-Apprenticeship on June 17th. Apply by August 24th. The Fall 2024 program begins October 21st and ends December 13th. You can subscribe to our interest list to get notified when the application period opens.

If you have any questions about applying, email us at co.pathway@chefannfoundation.org


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you can contact us by emailing co.pathway@chefannfoundation.org

Pre-Apprentices are required to complete online courses and join live virtual learning sessions. The online courses, which are offered through the Chef Ann Foundation’s School Food Institute can be completed remotely from anywhere. The courses are hosted by Moodle, which is an online learning platform. We highly recommend completing the courses on a laptop or desktop computer since you will be required to write and submit assignments. 

Pre-Apprentices will also need to use Zoom to attend the live virtual learning sessions. 

Microsoft Word or Google Docs will also be occasionally used for assignments.

We look forward to opening a Spanish-language opportunity in 2025.

No, participants are only paid for the time they work at the school district. If required, they may also be paid for completing an anti-harassment training.

During the seven weeks of the Pre-Apprenticeship you will complete a variety of tasks. This includes but is not limited to chopping fruits and vegetables, batch cooking, serving students, running the point of sale (POS) system as students move through the line, and washing dishes.

Resources

Interested in learning more? Check out these downloadable resources.

Chef Ann Foundation will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SEX (INCLUDING PREGNANCY AND GENDER IDENTITY), SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENETIC INFORMATION, OR BECAUSE THEY ARE AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY OR A PERSON 40 YEARS OLD OR OLDER. Chef Ann Foundation will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.


Discover More

Healthy School Food Pathway

Healthy School Food Pathway (HSFP) program is a work-based learning experience that aims to prepare individuals for job opportunities in healthy, scratch-cook school food programs.

School Food Institute

The School Food Institute gives school food service professionals and childhood nutrition advocates the in-depth training, operational skills, and strategic vision necessary to make school food fresh, healthy, and sustainable.

The Lunch Box

The Lunch Box is an online resource that is dedicated to supporting school districts and food service teams in transitioning their food programs from relying on processed foods to incorporating scratch cooking and fresh ingredients.

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