Culinary Program Manager - Chicago, IL

ICNC works to strengthen the companies in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor on Chicago's Near West Side. In addition to representing and providing assistance to hundreds of companies in its community, ICNC owns and operates Make City, a small business incubator which houses 100 small business tenants in its 416,000 square foot facility.

ICNC also co-owns The Hatchery, a food and beverage manufacturing incubator in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood which assists food & beverage entrepreneurs grow their businesses. This facility is a one-stop-shop aiming to solve three major challenges in the industry: access to production space, financing, and resources.

Please visit and for information on ICNC's mission and activities.

Impact Culinary Training, founded by Chef Rick Bayless, provides an eight-week, comprehensive, in kitchen culinary program with a four-week professional internship hosted by Chicago-area restaurants. The goal of this program is to help strengthen and provide opportunities for young adults as well as provide Chicago restaurants with much needed staff.

The Culinary Program Manager will provide support to and be responsible for a wide range of classroom instruction supports, program management, internships and employment services for Impact Culinary Training. This is a full-time position and reports to ICNC’s Chief Workforce Development Officer.


Program Management

  • Lead candidate recruitment and collaborate with other ICNC workforce development department staff
  • Mentor, coach, and support students through weekly case management
  • Provide or refer students for wrap-around support such as transportation assistance, housing, behavioral and mental health, employment readiness, legal, trauma education and more
  • Maintain partnerships with local area restaurants and chefs to assist in arranging internship experiences for all students
  • Coordinate daily curriculum and guest chef visits with Culinary Instructor
  • Facilitate and update all employment readiness curriculum based on student feedback and experience and industry needs
  • Identify, pursue, and secure additional funding, working with ICNC fundraising staff, to enable program sustainability and expansion
  • Manage relationships with community-based organizations to refer students for support services not offered in-house
  • Support marketing efforts of the program alongside ICNC marketing staff
  • Supervise student performance in class and provide performance improvement plans as necessary
  • Create, lead, track and report program performance using agreed metrics
  • Work with Frontera and ICNC management to explore program expansion opportunities
  • Participate in regular professional development opportunities relating to the program
  • Coordinate, manage and prepare cohort events such as mock restaurants, field trips and graduation
  • Create and maintain alumni association and other programs that may add value

Community and Food Safety Supports

  • Support culinary instructor with maintaining inventory for food and other supplies
  • Manage and schedule kitchen space for culinary trainings and community use
  • Assist with community training programs and marketing
  • Perform other program-related tasks as required


  • Minimum two-year college degree or a minimum of four years of relevant program management experience required
  • Restaurant or food service experience a plus
  • Must have Illinois Food Handler Certificate or be eligible to obtain it within 30 days from hire date
  • Prior experience working with underserved or at-risk young adults, highly preferred
  • Ability to effectively communicate both orally and in writing with students, peers, and employers
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills with the ability to pay attention to details is mandatory
  • Previous event planning experience is a plus
  • Capacity to interface with food service industry organizations in support of the program
  • Active listener and understands the importance of accountability
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize, critically problem solve and exercise good judgment with minimal supervision
  • Great follow-up, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills
  • Flexibility in work/teaching style to adapt to new projects and meet changing demands
  • Must have intermediate experience in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Experience with or willingness to learn computer software programs i.e. SalesForce, Teams, Constant Contact and ADP
  • Self-starter that is collaborative, energetic, creative and proactive
  • Able to work effectively under time pressure and/or deadlines and maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Local travel is required for program events

Open, casual, office environment, shared with full-time staff and 80+ food and beverage businesses. Most time will be spent at The Hatchery Chicago when outside meetings with employers or community-based organizations are not scheduled. A computer with access to all software and systems needed for in-office and remote work will be provided.


  • This is a full-time, salaried position; Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm; with the ability to work remote 10% of work week
  • Starting annual salary range is $51K-$55K; commensurate with experience
  • Benefit incentives include: One week paid vacation to start, one week personal/sick time off and twelve paid holidays, participation in group health insurance plan, SIMPLE IRA match, short and long term disability and life insurance, tuition reimbursement and professional development training, flexible spending accounts and employee assistance program
  • This position is eligible to participate in ICNC’s Great Game of Business growth incentive bonus plan

Please email letter of interest, current resume, and three professional references to:

Culinary Program Manager Search Committee
The subject line must include the recruiting code CPM

ICNC is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for its team, the businesses it supports, and ultimately the communities in which it works.

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