Family, friends and community leaders attended the 7th graduation ceremony of students from the Light House’s Building Employment Success Training (B.E.S.T.) program. Since its inception in 2012, 90 people have successfully completed the program. Newly elected Annapolis Mayor Mike Patelides delivered the key note address, his first speech as an elected official, commending the graduates on their success and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
The ten Facilities Maintenance and eight Culinary Arts B.E.S.T. graduates were honored with a graduation ceremony and reception. Each graduate was presented with citations from the office of Senator Ben Cardin, the City of Annapolis and certificates for the completion of the 14-week B.E.S.T. program. In addition, the Culinary Arts graduates were each awarded a certificate of completion from The National Restaurant Association after passing the ServSafe Food Safety Exam.
Currently, graduates of the B.E.S.T. program are employed by local businesses including Ann Arundel Medical Center, Shopper’s Food Warehouse, Safeway, Annapolis Smokehouse, Burlington Coat Factory, Fish Window Cleaners, Historic Inns of Annapolis, including the Calvert House and Maryland Inn, Bay Woods Assisted Living and The Light House.
The B.E.S.T program began in 2010 and with funding from the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, still a funder along with Severn Savings, Walmart, City of Annapolis, Hussman Foundation, Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation, Friends of the Light House, Northrop Grumman, PNC Bank and most recently TD Bank.
B.E.S.T. is a core program at Light House that builds job-training skills to help its clients secure sustainable employment and permanent housing. Clients participate in a 14-week training program that includes one-week assessment, three weeks of basic skills training, followed by eight weeks of hands-on training and paid internships in specific disciplines including Culinary Arts, Facilities Management and landscaping.
For almost years, The Light House has provided emergency shelter, transitional housing, food, clothing, eviction assistance and related support services to people by providing a place of belonging, life changing programs and a broad continuum of support for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
For more information about the Light House B.E.S.T. or other Light House programs, please contact Pam Siemer, Director of Development at 410.349.5056 or visit www.annapolislighthouse.org.