Empower L.A. (L.A. Kitchen)


About 1,500 foster youth age out of Los Angeles’ child welfare system each year. Within one year, one-fifth will be arrested or incarcerated. Within two years, half will be unemployed. Working with this population, along with adults transitioning out of incarceration and individuals who have come out of homelessness, Empower L.A.’s culinary job training program provides opportunities for employment in the foodservice industry.

Throughout the 15-week training program, students will participate in a variety of hands-on culinary training, self-empowerment programs and local internships. Dynamic lessons from Executive Chef Instructors, Industry Professionals and Volunteer Chefs de Cuisine provide hands-on experience. On-staff MSW Social Worker, Nutritionist and Workforce Developer will focus on the needs of students through Life Skills, Professional Development and Nutrition classes. This transformative program will both help reduce systemic patterns of recidivism and increase employment probabilities for all participants.


Empower L.A. provides valuable training to foster youth transitioning into the workforce, through meaningful experiences with food and service. Additionally, L.A. Kitchen provides many volunteer opportunities to engage the community in issues of food access, food justice, and food waste.

Share this resource