The Re-Generate Opportunity program

The RE-GENERATE OPPORTUNITY program was launched by Mandela Partners in 2019 to address barriers to employment among re-entry individuals in Alameda County. In partnership with Oak Harvest Kitchen -- a produce-centered restaurant and kitchen incubator in downtown Oakland -- the Re-Generate Opportunity Program provides food-based job training to build a broad range of skills in the high-demand food and hospitality sector, with a specific focus on Prep Cooks, Line Cooks, and Kitchen Management positions. We also address training in the local food e-commerce sector.
Here's how the program works:



Mandela Partners collaborates with workforce development partners to recruit re-entry candidates interested in participating in the Re-Generate Opportunity training program. 


Fundamental Kitchen Training
At Oak Harvest Kitchen, participants get hands-on training and mentorship -- covering food safety, kitchen skills, customer service and hospitality, and essential technologies used in food-service and the workplace.


Once the initial training is complete, program participants enroll in our internship program inside live kitchens - at participating food businesses and food e-commerce companies from Mandela's network - to build live kitchen and food service skills experience to add to their resumes. 


Gaining Employment 
Program graduates then gain access to broader workforce network to secure full-time employment.

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Check out our latest resource

Building Equitable Employment in the Food Sector for System Impacted Residents was developed Mandela Partners in collaboration with several leading national practitioners to provide an asset-based approach for working with individuals impacted by the carceral system in the food sector, and highlights best practices for creating a kitchen and culinary training program that is adapted to the needs of reentry individuals to support long-term employment.

In addition to bridging the gap between program participants and an industry with a growing workforce demand, the Re-Generate Opportunity Program also seeks to strengthen relationships between job workforce development agencies and locally owned food-based businesses. This initiative was made possible with seed funding made available through the California Workforce Development Board and the Employment Development Department. Mandela Partners is currently working with four workforce development organizations to recruit individuals with barriers to employment, six local food businesses, and two food e-commerce organizations.

See our partners: