A Massachusetts company that has become the largest culinary training and staffing organization in New England will receive the 2019 John Gould Education and Workforce Development Award, AIM announced today.
Snapchef, a Dorchester-based company founded 17 years ago by husband and wife Todd and Daniella Snopkowski, provides free culinary training to thousands of people who often subsequently find jobs through the company’s staffing operation. The company places students in entry level positions at blue-chip clients that include the region’s most prominent universities, hospitals, five-star hotels, food service corporations, caterers and corporate cafeterias.
The Snopkowskis have also established deep connections with community groups, churches and culinary schools to address the issue of culinary job readiness training and job creation.
“Snapchef is a wonderful example of the employer community rolling up its sleeves to solve the ongoing shortage of qualified workers in Massachusetts,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.
“AIM is pleased to honor a company that not only employs more than 1,000 people throughout Massachusetts but also understands the broader significance of work and economic opportunity.”
Snapchef maintains training kitchens in Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Providence, R.I., where students get to take home the food they make while training and ride to job sites in Snapchef’s fleet of more than 50 vans.
The cornerstones of the Snapchef educational program are a 14-unit Fast-Track Culinary Training Program, ServeSafe classes and a 12-week Chef Apprenticeship Program that includes 240 hours of classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of supervised, on-the-job training.
“We help people find a career, not simply a job for one day,” said Snopkowski, who developed the Snapchef model after growing frustrated with culinary placement services while serving as a chef at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and for Goldman Sachs in New York.
“And, being a staffing company, we don’t only train, we also match folks looking for work in the industry with jobs that are available. If they don’t have the skills to do a job, we actually train them, whether it be dishwashing, cooking, cheffing, you name it. We cover those bases and give them a foothold in the industry,” he told BusinessWest magazine in Springfield.
The company has earned a multitude of honors for its work. CEO Todd Snopkowski received the 2015 US Small Business Association Small Business Person of the Year award for Massachusetts, as well as the 2016 Citizens Bank Good Citizens Award. Daniella Snopkowski, who serves as CFO, has been named among the Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 business leaders.
Snapchef – the name is a variation on Snopkowski’s family nickname of “Snap” or “Snapper” - provides workers to clients ranging from individual restaurants and caterers to Foxwoods Resort Casino and Gillette Stadium, as well as large food-service corporations like Aramark, Sodexo, and the Compass Group.
And Todd and Daniella Snopkowski believe the company is just getting started. Snapchef is developing proprietary software for its clients and eventually plans to franchise Snapchef outside of New England.
The Gould Award was established in 1998 to recognize the contributions of individuals, employers, and institutions to the quality of public education and to the advancement, employability, and productivity of residents of the Commonwealth.
In 2000, the award was named after the late John Gould, upon his retirement as President and CEO of AIM, to recognize his work to improve the quality of public education and workforce training in Massachusetts.
Past recipients of the Gould Award include the late Jack Rennie, Chairman and Founder of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education; Middlesex Community College; Gordon Lankton, President and CEO (retired), NYPRO Inc.; William Edgerly, Chairman Emeritus, State Street Corporation; Northeastern University; The Davis Family Foundation; Intel Massachusetts; EMC Corporation; IBM; David Driscoll Commissioner (Retired) Massachusetts Department of Education; State Street Corporation and Year UP Boston; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership; Brockton High School; the Manufacturing Advancement Center – MACWIC Program; Christo Rey Boston High School; CVS and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission; Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries and the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership.