Career Training

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Gabby Rudolph, First Course Program Graduate


YWCA’s First Course: Certified Dining Room Associate training program provides free occupational training for jobs in the food service industry. First Course training sessions are 6-weeks in length, approximately 50 hours of classroom time. First Course prepares trainees for restaurant and banquet server positions in the growing Cincinnati hospitality market. We use hands-on training to teach technical skills needed to fulfill the duties of any server position. Our curriculum is endorsed by the International Sommelier’s Guild and the American Culinary Institute’s Education Foundation, and we are locally recognized Eligible Training Provider (ETP). A Cincinnati Works-YWCA employment coach works with each First Course trainee throughout the entire six weeks to build work-readiness skills and prepare for employment upon program completion. Our trainees participate in a “job-shadowing” experience as part of First Course to learn, firsthand, what the demands of working in the hospitality industry. All trainees have access to supportive services both during and after training, which includes access to financial coaching, criminal record sealing/expungement, access to adult education advancement, and more.

Who is eligible:

  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Good physical health and able to lift 30 lbs.

Learn More About This Program! 

For businesses or employers who wish to collaborate with or support the First Course Program, please contact Tracy Wells, Vice President, Development.


Training Calendar for 2019

All training sessions are six weeks in length with training occurring every 9 am – 2 pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the six weeks. Additional dates for mock interviews and testing will be scheduled the final week of classes.

Session One

February 5th through March 15th

Session Two

April 16th through May 24th

Session Three

July 2nd through August 9th

Session Four

September 17th through October 5th


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