Silver Fork: A Culinary Arts and Job Readiness Program

The Silver Fork Program at Center on Halsted
is a nine-week vocational training program for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and
allied adults (ages 18+), for those who are unemployed or underemployed. During each session, participants receive hands-on training in culinary arts and job readiness. Skills such as knife handling and front-of-the-house etiquette are covered, and instruction is provided leading to State of Illinois/City of Chicago Food Safety and Sanitation (FSS) certification. Participants graduate with the skills and knowledge to be successfully placed in the hospitality and restaurant industry. Case management services are provided to participants to support participants through the training, job search, and employment process.

Funded by the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Kraft Foods, and
J.P. Morgan Chase. The Silver Fork Program was developed by Center on Halsted with the
guidance of professional chefs who have many years of experience in the hospitality sector
and who are experts on the skills needed to succeed in a catering, restaurant, hotel, and
other foodservice settings.

Each week, in our state of the art Common Threads kitchen, participants learn skills and make friendships that last a lifetime.

A new 9-week program will begin January 19, 2016.

Classes will be held Mondays–Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

To apply for the Silver Fork Program, you must attend one of two orientations:
  • Tuesday, January 5th from 1:00–5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 7th from 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Individuals arriving late will NOT be considered for the program. Applications/interviews will be conducted immediately following orientation.

Please bring the following to the Silver Fork Orientation:
  1. Photo ID with your current Chicago address
  2. Social Security Card
  3. Birth Certificate or U.S. Passport

If you're interested in participating in the program or are an employer interested in placing our graduates, see the information below.

For Applicants:
If you've a passion for the culinary arts and are looking to secure a career in the restaurant or in the hospitality industry, Silver Fork is for you! Silver Fork seeks highly motivated, passionate underemployed and unemployed applicants to take part in their nine week program. Interested applicants can contact us with questions at 773.472.6469 EXT 449 or email us at

For Employers:
By partnering with Silver Fork, employers align themselves with the Midwest's most comprehensive LGBTQ community center and have access to the trained, reliable, and certified graduates of the Silver Fork program. To discuss partnering with Silver Fork and learn more about our graduates, contact at 773.472.6469 EXT 487 or email us at for information on our next Orientation session.

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