Stephanie GiangSep 14, 2018, 1:01 pmSep 14, 2018, 6:45 pm

Mill Street Café seeks to help patrons succeed in job market

RECAP Manager: ‘We try to give them the confidence that you can get out there in the working world’

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MIDDLETOWN – The Mill Street Café opened for business on Wednesday, with the goal of helping teach job skills to people receiving welfare assistance along with other traits to succeed in the job market.

The Regional Economic Community Action Program (RECAP) are the creators of the café, their moto is “feeding people, changing lives.” RECAP’s Fresh Start Program, pairs culinary staff with trainees learning different techniques in the kitchen.

"We try to give them the confidence that you can get out there in the working world," RECAP Training & Services Manager Charlene Woodson said.

The café serves breakfast, lunch, and baked goods. One of the executive chefs said she started in the program at another location and it's given her the motivation to achieve her goals.

"When I started cooking, it gave me drive, focus, and I just want to show people in the program that you can do the same thing,” Executive Chef Justine Figueroa said. "They gave me this opportunity to prove myself and I hope I make them proud."

Workers at the café get hands on experience but also develop communication skills and more. Officials said the program not only helps those in need, it also improves the community.

"It's super exciting to see this to go from a shell of an abandon building to this gorgeous, gorgeous statuesque building before you,” Recap Training & Services Manager Charlene Woodson said.

Similar cafés are also located on Seward Avenue in Middletown and on Broadway in Newburgh.

The Mill Street Café will be open on Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

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