WACO, TX – Mission Waco plans to expand its youth job training program this year after a successful trial run with World Bowl, a food truck that sells ethnic cuisine that was used this summer to teach basic job skills to about 20 students.

The food truck is part of a larger youth job training program that Mission Waco Executive Director Jimmy Dorrell is trying to grow in an effort to provide more work opportunities for urban youth and young adults.

“Job readiness and employment is critical for everyone, and it’s especially a problem for urban teenagers who rarely get to work,” Dorrell said.

The program lasts a month, with Mission Waco employing students to work at various local companies for a total of 60 hours.

It starts with two weeks of classroom time or “soft

skill” training, in which students learn interview techniques, go on field trips to local businesses and learn how to fill out job applications and write résumés.

Students are paid $25 for each week they learn all the required skills.

The second two weeks include on-the-job training, in which students earn their food-handlers licenses and learn cooking and serving skills.

Mission Waco pays students minimum wage to work at companies such as Home Depot, World Cup Cafe and World Bowl to gain work experience.

“What we hope will happen (after) the second phase is that the employer now really likes them,” Dorrell said. “They show up on time, they do a good job, they get along. And then (the employer) will hire them for the rest of the summer.”

To expand the students’ experiences, Dorrell rented a food truck to sit behind World Cup Cafe in June and July. From there, the students and their supervisor, Mission Waco Executive Assistant Travis Cheatham, serve three meals from recipes provided by Mission Waco missionaries in India, Haiti and Mexico. Each recipe can be vegetarian or vegan if requested, Cheatham said. The truck will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday through July.

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