Measuring Success: A Look at Model Membership at Community Kitchen Pittsburgh

The Catalyst Kitchens team has qualified Community Kitchen Pittsburgh as a Model Member in the CK Network! This comes after a close review of program outcomes, a tour of all their facilities, and several hours of staff and student interviews.We are excited to welcome their organization into this collection of leaders and innovators that are combating hunger, joblessness, and poverty in communities across North America.

Marla Jonas_CKP

Community Kitchen Pittsburgh’s Adult Training Program

Community Kitchen Pittsburgh (CKP) operates a twelve-week adult training program and provides transitional job opportunities embedded in their school meals and catering enterprises. CKP launched in July 2013 with strong support from the local funding community and is growing every day. CKP also provides advanced training through apprenticeships in the kitchens of their local employer partners to provide program graduates additional training opportunities.

They have trained 270 adults to move into a range of positions in both high volume and restaurant kitchens, have placed 92% of graduates into employment, and have seen 85% job retention among placed graduates 1 year after graduation. Their work has a major impact on their community in Pittsburgh and has qualified their program to progress to Model Membership status in the Catalyst Kitchens network.

What does Model Membership mean?

Catalyst Kitchens is based on the principal that foodservice job training social enterprises can do more together than they can alone. One of the key ingredients to meaningful collective impact work like ours is a commitment towards shared measures of success. The Collective Impact Forum, a leader in guiding non-profit collective impact, says this means “agreeing to track progress in the same way, which allows for continuous improvement.”

Updated Model Graphic

A close look at any two job training programs will likely show that they track certain measures of success slightly differently.  At Catalyst Kitchens, we work to define clear measures within our membership network through an annual outcomes collection process. Member organizations report on the same measures each year, allowing for comparisons over time and meaningful bench-marking between similar organizations.

Outcomes measurement serves to qualify high performing organizations for Catalyst Kitchens Model Member status. As recognized leaders in their field, Model Members embody and balance all three core tenets of the Catalyst Kitchens model.

Emily Olsen-Harbich and Darryl Coasten
On a kitchen tour with Lead Chef Trainer Darryl Coasten

To become a Model Member, organizations undergo a thorough assessment of quantitative performance outcomes and qualitative program components during a Standards Review and site visit from the Catalyst Kitchens team.

For a full list of Catalyst Kitchens Model Members, check out our Member Map page.

Author: Emily Olsen-Harbich

Emily is interested in challenging traditional community development norms to solve complex social issues at scale. She's worked at the grassroots level as a community extension agent in Peace Corps Cameroon and managed cross-sector initiatives while working in management consulting for a Washington, DC based firm. Emily's experience creating compelling communications tools, including an award winning documentary film, help her to support and enhance the inspiring work of Catalyst Kitchens members around the country.

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