Opportunities and Celebrations: James’ Story

Opportunities and Celebrations: James’ Story

James with Chef JacketPositive, upbeat, and hardworking. These are the words that are used to describe employU client James by those who know him well. James is a high school student who came to employU in September of 2021. Since then, he has worked six on-the-job trainings but had his eye on one of our business partners in particular; Pineapples. 

Pineapples, a restaurant, music venue, and rooftop bar is known for its warm, fun atmosphere and delicious food. One of our 2022 Business Partner Awards recipients, Pineapples regularly hosts on-the-job trainings (OJTs) and goes above and beyond to make our clients, including James, feel welcome from their very first day on the job.  

Though he was a little nervous on his first day, James had his employU job coach remind him that everyone experiences first-day jitters at any job. With the help of his job coach, he learned how to do his job duties, which included rolling silverware, food prep, and filling the dishwasher, correctly. “He catches on very quickly and he is so positive and upbeat all the time!” Transition Area Manager Glenna tells us.  

During his OJT, James was surprised with a birthday party thrown by Pineapples! They held a surprise birthday party for him for his 18th birthday. Many staff who were not working came to celebrate with James. Steve Young, owner of Pineapples and member of the August 2022 Blue Origin flight into space, also attended the birthday party. James truly felt loved and appreciated as he celebrated with his co-workers and even received a gift card from his managers at Pineapples, Ernest and Janet. They also gifted him a Pineapple’s Chef Jacket with the Pineapple’s logo on the back and his name on the front along with the inscription “James Chef Extraordinaire.”  

But the best gift of all? During his birthday party, Pineapples officially offered James a permanent position that will be scheduled around his school schedule. James accepted and could not be more excited to continue working and learning new job skills within such a warm, friendly, positive environment. For more information on our Youth Paid Work-Based Learning Experiences visit https://employu.org/youth-paid-work-based-learning/ or contact us using the form below.  

Contact Us