There could soon be a new program in Grande Prairie for veterans looking to change careers. Royal Canadian Legion Branch 54 plans to start a cooking program to train veterans to become Red Seal Chefs.
Legion Project Coordinator Barry Lazoruk says the first step towards starting the program is to the renovate the buildings existing kitchen to make it more accessible.
“What we’re planning on doing is approaching the designers to design a kitchen for us that is handicap accessible…so that we can train veterans that want to change occupations or anybody who’s handicapped or physically challenged that wants to train as a chef.”
The program would put participants on the road to becoming a Red Seal Chef where they would then need to complete 5,000 hours of work experience and technical training to become certified. Lazoruk says that the program was designed to give veterans something to focus on once they return home.
“We want them to lead a quality life. If you can keep them to where they’re occupied and enjoying their life rather than having time to sit and stew about what they have done in the past it creates a better lifestyle for them.”
The legion is hoping to renovate a number of other rooms in their building to make them more accessible as well including the main entrance, washrooms, bar and lower level banquet hall. Lazoruk says that once the kitchen renovations are complete they will be able to start bringing people in.
“We’re planning to do our kitchen and our bar service over in January or February of this coming year and then hopefully we’ll get a red seal chef hired to be able to train.”
The program is still in its planning phase but Lazoruk says they hope to have it up and running by the second half of next year.