Fort Myers, FL, April 26, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- Teaching Kitchen to Provide Workforce Training Programs
The Pierce Family Fund donated $25,000 to the Heights Foundation to purchase a commercial hood, fire suppression and exhaust system for the Heights Culinary Center. The Culinary Center will be a commercial teaching kitchen, located within The Heights Center—a 14,000 square- foot facility for education, opportunity and enrichment in the Harlem Heights community. The Heights Culinary Center will provide family self-sufficiency and development through workforce training, entrepreneurship, and community feeding programs.
“Our intent is to help under-employed adults gain the skills and experience needed to meet their life goals. We are excited to partner with area resorts, life-care establishments, restaurants and hotels to provide job-ready, qualified and motivated staff to meet their needs,” said Kathryn Kelly, President and CEO of the Heights Foundation. “The donation by the Pierce family allows us to purchase the most important piece of equipment in our kitchen.”
Additional commercial equipment is needed to complete the teaching kitchen.
The Heights Center, supported by the Heights Foundation, is a place for education, opportunity, and enrichment. The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. The Center’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts. The Harlem Heights Cultural Arts and Community Center is located at 15570 Hagie Drive in Fort Myers. For more information about the Heights Center and the Heights Culinary Center call (239) 482-7706 or visit www.heightsfoundation.org
About the Heights Foundation and the Heights Center
The Heights Center, supported by the Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment. The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. As a 501(c)3 grassroots organization, the Center’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts. The 14,000 square-foot Harlem Heights Cultural Arts and Community Center opened in February 2013.
Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 1,200 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 55% Hispanic, 36% African-American, and 9% Caucasian. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.