Culinary Arts and Wellness Coordinator & Instructor

Job Title: Culinary Arts and Wellness Coordinator & Instructor

10-Month Position

Reports To: Director, Workforce Development

Supervisory Responsibilities: Yes

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Organization Overview

Every year, thousands of young people in Philadelphia dropout of school. This decades-long dropout crisis impacts individual lives by sustaining the cycle of underemployment and poverty, and threatens Philadelphia’s ability to thrive.

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School was founded in 1992 to give high school dropouts a second chance and the opportunity to build a brighter future for themselves and their community. Our innovative program offers young at-risk adults a high school diploma, valuable job skills, and the opportunity to learn and grow in a community-oriented, supportive environment. We prepare our students for further educational attainment and meaningful careers as they become leaders and contributing members in a stronger Philadelphia.


YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School’s mission is to empower young adults (18-20 year-olds) to develop skills and connect to opportunities by fostering an environment of love, support, and respect for their whole person. Students graduate high school and successfully transition to college and career as critically conscious leaders, committed to positive change for themselves and their communities.


YBPCS’ values are deeply held and come from a love of humanity and a perspective that views each student as a community asset. The program’s three core values - respect, excellence and perseverance – are reinforced through all aspects of the program.

Impact Statement

Young people in Philadelphia who are disconnected will build skills and access resources and opportunities to achieve economic stability and personal development, and become critically conscious leaders within their communities.

Job Summary:

The Culinary Arts and Wellness Instructor/Coordinator's core function is to prepare students for entry- to mid-level careers in the foodservice industry, while incorporating transferable 21st-century skills to increase students’ preparation for success in their college and career aspirations. The CA Instructor/Coordinator will be responsible for leading culinary arts instruction, administering the ServSafe training program, teaching job readiness skills, and coordinating guest chefs and field trips. The CA Instructor/Coordinator will also lead students in the preparation of healthy meals and products to be distributed to non-profit partners. 

This is a full-time 10-Month position with regular business hours Monday through Friday. However, some irregular hours are expected for this position as events demand.


Youth Development

  • Excellence looks like reaching out to young people proactively and problem-solving around their strengths.
  • Finding and effectively utilizing “teachable moments” as students gain on-the-job training in our training cafe
  • Patience and the ability to problem-solve (over and over again) with young people as they build the skills they need to be successful as they go on to postsecondary education and customer-facing positions after YouthBuild
  • Unrelentingly creative approach to the work, with the highest expectations and highest support every day.
  • Culinary Instruction
  • Excellence looks like operating a model training site for our students.
  • Conduct hands-on culinary instruction of students using existing curriculum 
  • Develop lesson plans based on the existing curriculum 
  • Administer written and practical tests 
  • Document and report each student’s ability to comprehend, perform and retain practical techniques 
  • Work one-on-one with students to ensure comprehension of lessons and information 
  • Recruit new and maintain existing relationships with chefs for regularly volunteer opportunities 
  •  Oversee the various ordering, set-up, and cleanup needed for lessons and guest chef presentations 
  • Administer the ServSafe curriculum and test with the goal of all students achieving Food Handlers and Managers certifications
  • Oversee meal preparations 
  • Create plans for using available foods to be distributed to partner hunger relief agencies 
  • Guide students in the preparation of food and products to be distributed from food pantries
  • Record and track the number of meals prepared and food distributed in the YB Food Pantry. 
  • Manage the kitchen, food, and supplies, and maintain inventory

Student Support 

  • Utilizes restorative practices including elements like circling up at the start and end of each day and effective student reflections into the daily operations of the kitchen and training program
  • Develop and maintain attendance tracking and accountability systems which will include leadership development of student managers
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and respect for various social identities
  • Oversee monitoring of students’ time and grades on site 
  • Adhere to all student behavior plans and IEP plans
  • Collaborate with Specialized Services, Student Life, and Student Success Management to ensure that students are receiving high levels of support from YouthBuild staff during their workforce rotation.
  • Collaborate with the Career Partnerships & Postsecondary Initiatives Department to help inform the need for specific internship opportunities for current students and pipeline for employment and continued education/training upon graduation

Customer Service Excellence Training (CSET)

Excellence in this area looks like a student not getting flustered by a difficult customer but moving on to the next person with a smile and readiness to serve.

  • Teach modules of the CSET training curriculum 
  • Keep a record of YouthBuild students in the training track, administering and maintaining their assessments. Accountability for student certification attainment will be a key performance measure for this position
  • Guide students through the creation and editing process of post-secondary documents, such as resumes, cover letters, etc.
  • Think creatively about the curriculum and how best to get across the material with your voice and flair that is engaging to students
  • Workforce Leadership
  • Believe deeply in the mission and values of YouthBuild Philadelphia
  • Model professional behavior for students at all times
  • Exhibit consistent positive rapport with students
  • Develop teamwork and leadership skills of students
  • Demonstrate creativity and flexibility in identifying locations and settings of professional-work opportunities, as well as in the teaching tools used in the career-readiness preparation

Program Involvement

  • Participate in the School’s Mentoring/Coaching Program
  • Participate in community-service projects in keeping with the service ethic of the School
  • Support the overall climate and culture of the School, including but not limited to, the utilization of restorative practices for disciplining students, support of leadership development, participation in events, and visits to worksites/internships
  • Support fundraising and related development efforts for the School

Professional Development

  • Continue to develop professional skills through training and professional development activities offered both at the School and identified external training;
  • Attend retreats, workshops, and conferences, as required.
  • Attend weekly all-staff and department meetings, as well as any other meetings as required by the Director of Vocational Training

Physical Demands

  • Normal demands of a culinary work space including but not limited to carrying supplies and standing on your feet for long periods of time

Other duties as assigned by the Director of Workforce Development



  • At least two years of teaching or training experience
  • Commitment to working with underserved students
  • Prior employee development and training experience is preferred in order to simulate the best work experience for students
  • Bachelor’s Degree and/or considerable experience above the minimum requirements, plus industry certifications may be considered
  • Strong communication and organization skills used in direct instruction, lesson plan development, and coordinating student schedules
  • Social justice work or service experience preferred
  • Experience working in a team setting
  • Ability to work enthusiastically with young people who have not completed high school
  • Strong communication skills, with the ability to present information to groups
  • Ability to operate in a fast-paced, highly flexible work—often highly intense—work environment
  • Ability to travel to locations, organizations, or events in the City of Philadelphia
  • Creativity in developing strategies that lead to students’ success
  • High level of professionalism and customer service skills
  • Respect for the intelligence and experiences of young adults
  • Strong commitment to helping young adults succeed in reorienting their lives, nurturing their leadership skills, and enabling them to make a difference in their community

Common Competencies

  • Mission driven to work with YB’s student body
  • Intermediate to advanced Microsoft Office skills
  • Intermediate to advanced Google Suite skills
  • Commitment to social justice
  • Demonstrated values that align to Restorative Practices

Clearance Requirements

  • FBI - Criminal History Report 
  • PATCH - Pennsylvania Police Department - Criminal Background Check (and/or applicable based on State of residency)
  • PA Child Abuse History Clearance
  • TB Test Results
  • Act 24 - Arrest Conviction Form
  • NSOPW - National Sex Offender Clearance

This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by this employee. He or she will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by his or her supervisor.

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, medical condition, veteran status or any other basis as protected by federal, state, or local law.