Two years ago, Charles considered himself on the downside of his career. He’d spent his entire working life at steel factories, warehouses, and most recently, a logistics center.  Cutbacks came to the center, and they weren’t able to offer Charles consistent work.  He applied for many other positions, but felt his age was causing him to lose out to younger candidates.

“I got called into a lot of interviews just to be there. You get disappointed easily, as there are fewer opportunities as you get older”.

Charles on a break from his job at U of C Hospital

One day, while riding his bike down Lake Street, Charles saw the sign for Inspiration Kitchens. He was surprised to see it, as a lifelong West Side resident, he never thought of this industrial neighborhood as a location for a restaurant.  He went in and learned about the Foodservice Training program at Inspiration Corporation. He was reluctant at first, as he’d been turned down by other job-training programs, but decided to give it a shot.

The process was entirely new to him, and he learned skills he’d never used before.  But right away, he found a familiarity with the process.

“Working at Inspiration Kitchens, you know what natural means. After going other places, you realize the quality of the work, the operations and professionalism they practice”.

He enjoyed the classes thoroughly, and found work quickly after graduation.  Now, he’s working full time at Wolfgang Puck Express at University of Chicago Medical Center. Charles has come to terms with the fact that he’s not making as much as he used to in a logistics center, but finds learning a new set of skills both humbling and life-affirming.

“I want to thank Inspiration Corporation. They lifted my spirits at a time I needed it”.