Santa Barbara Public Library’s workforce development program, SBPL Works!, began offering scholarships for restaurant workers to earn food handlers certifications as part of a grant-funded initiative. The ServSafe Food Handler program at the Santa Barbara Public Library connects food service workers with free access to the required certification for employment so they are ready to start work or transfer employment without having to bear an additional financial burden. Over 100 community members have earned their certification through our program so far with new participants signing up each month.
“This grant-funded program has been helpful for local businesses and job-seekers,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente. “It’s an example of just one of the many ways that Library staff hear about a need in our community and then work with local organizations to help meet that need.”
In 2022, in partnership with SBCC’s School of Extended Learning, SBPL is expanding the program to include free access to ServSafe Food Protection Manager training courses and exams. Quarterly courses taught by SBCC staff at the Eastside Library will help eliminate barriers for local food industry employees returning to the workforce by making the course available locally and free of charge. Currently the nearest exam sites are in Ventura or Santa Maria, each more than 35 miles away. The School of Extended Learning at SBCC will also provide in-class assistance for English language learners for this course.
Classes are taught in English, with an English as a Second Language teacher on site to support non-Native English speakers. The textbook and exam are available in English and Spanish. Review and exam will take place on Saturdays April 23rd and 30th, 9 AM to 3 PM, at Eastside Library, 1102 E Montecito Street. Both sessions are required to complete the certification process.
This special opportunity is brought to you by a partnership between Santa Barbara Public Library and Santa Barbara City College, School of Extended Learning and is funded by Santa Barbara Adult Education Consortium and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
All library programs are free and open to the public.
Contact: Ahmad Merza, Supervising Librarian
Phone: (805) 448-3139