P.E.I. entry-level cooks program back in the kitchen after COVID-19 pause

More than a dozen cook trainees on P.E.I. are back in the kitchen after COVID-19 forced a six-month pause to their education. 

The free entry-level cook training program is offered by the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island and the Culinary Institute of Canada, with funding from Skills P.E.I. 

The goal is to train cooks to work in Island kitchens and help restaurants fill their labour gaps.

“Not a two-year graduate, not a chef, but someone who can come in at a very entry level,” said Austin Clement, program manager at the Culinary Institute. “Someone who understands food safety, somebody who understands the sense of urgency, preparation of small little sandwiches, soup, salads — that sort of thing.” 

Demand from restaurants

Clement said the program was launched in 2019 at the request of the food service industry on P.E.I., which was struggling to find enough staff. “In the past, certainly, there have been challenges with working conditions and wages, but that’s improved somewhat over the course of time,” Clement said. “The explosion we’ve had here as Canada’s Food Island, we’ve seen more restaurants, very good restaurants, built a reputation for food. We’re filling a need as volume increases.”

The first training program in 2019 had 16 participants, and five of them have continued their training at the Culinary Institute. 

This year’s program has 14 cooks in training, and all but four were in the program when the pandemic shut it down in March.

“It was a little disappointing. We missed out probably on a few important events that we were supposed to do now due to COVID,” said Kirsten Fisher-Compton, who travels to and from Lennox Island every day.

Fisher-Compton heard about the entry-level cook training program from her boss at Tyne Valley Teas Cafe, where she has worked for a couple of years. “Cooking really interests me. I’ve been really trying to get experience in every aspect I can,” Fisher-Compton said.

“I worked doing bakery and salad, sandwich things and now I’m trying the bistro side of things, so we’ll see how that goes.”

The participants do five weeks of on-the-job training and Fisher-Compton is hoping for a position with a “high-end” restaurant, somewhere in the Summerside area.

Fisher-Compton has applied to attend the Culinary Institute next year, with the ultimate goal of having her own food truck. 

‘It’s not easy’

Ryan Sankar was also signed up for the entry-level cook training program in February, after moving to P.E.I. from Trinidad and Tobago.

When the program was put on pause, Sankar spent the summer working under instructor Kyle Panton, getting his first taste of life in a kitchen.

“My biggest lesson I’ve learned is ‘don’t let the pressure get to you,'” Sankar said.

“This isn’t the place to come and just expect it to be easy. It’s not easy.” 

Sankar said the training program is also a chance for participants to find out what they think of the restaurant industry. 

“This course gives you an opportunity

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Springfield Garden Club readies for remote program

Springfield Garden Club Horticulture Education Chairman and Master Gardener Janet Dolder is passionate about native plants.

“It is not unusual for gardeners and landscapers to label any plant that wasn’t intentionally planted as a weed that needs to be eradicated,” she said. “There are so many beautiful native shrubs, trees, perennials and groundcovers that will easily adapt to growing in our backyards. It only takes a little research and a presentation or two with an expert … to get started.”

The garden club’s October program, “Why We Care About Native Plants” is just such a presentation. Featuring Dan Jaffe, it will take place Friday, Oct. 16, at noon via Zoom.

Jaffe is a well-known horticulturist, propagator and landscape designer. He earned a degree in botany from the University of Maine and an advanced certificate in Native Plant Horticulture and Design from the New England Wild Flower Society. He is currently the staff photographer, horticulturalist and propagator for Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary in Monson.

During the Zoom meeting, he will discuss how to select and combine the right species for specific site conditions and how this community-oriented approach can be applied to plantings of all sizes. Participants will learn how to create healthy, resilient plant communities that are beautiful and ecologically vibrant.

Questions for Jaffe, co-author of “Native Plants for New England Gardens” — which features his photographs — will be accepted through the chat function of Zoom and will be answered in real time.

“It’s time to reestablish native plants in the urban landscape before it’s too late,” Dolder said. “As more space is developed, the ground becomes covered with concrete, lawns and exotic, hybridized shrubs and perennials, starving native vegetation of its natural habitat. In turn, insects that have evolved alongside those plants and adapted their diets to the native plants’ pollen and nectar also starve, and the birds who counted on those insects to feed their young are becoming extinct.”

Most of the plant materials garden club members use in their arrangements are found in their yards and gardens, so there are natives included. “While you could make an arrangement from all natives, we generally use a mix for variety,” said Mary E. Bandouveres, garden club publicity chairman. “Using natives in arrangements is a fun benefit of growing them. You can beautify as well as benefit the environment. In addition, as this is their ‘native’ land, native plants can be easier to grow than some imported ones.”

She particularly likes using milkweed in her arrangements. “It’s not the most flamboyant plant, but it is the only food a monarch caterpillar can eat. So, the survival of the monarchs is dependent on the availability of milkweed plants. And they are easy to grow,” she said.

For Dolder, the vibrant colors from native maples and oaks, with a groundcover of goldenrod, wild aster and native ferns, are a reminder that “fall in New England is one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

Current Springfield Garden Club members will receive information

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House report is sharply critical of Treasury’s handling of payroll program

Ultimately, the subcommittee concluded that instead of preserving jobs, the Trump administration’s implementation of the Payroll Support Program “significantly weakened the Program’s impact on job preservation.”

The subcommittee’s assessment comes in stark contrast to how the program has played out for passenger airlines, which received the bulk of the more than $25 billion that was allocated to pay front-line workers. Airline and union leaders say the program saved tens of thousands of jobs until it expired Oct. 1 and have been aggressively pushing to extend it through the end of March.

“The Payroll Support Program has supported hundreds of thousands of aviation industry jobs, kept workers employed and connected to their healthcare, and played a critical role in preserving the U.S. airline industry,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “Implementation focused first on the largest employers to help stabilize an industry in crisis and support as many jobs as possible for as long as possible. Treasury provided over 80% of the requested funds supporting over four hundred thousand jobs within 26 days of the enactment of the CARES Act.”

The subcommittee’s report also slammed contractors for laying off workers even as they sought to secure government aid.

“Documents uncovered during the Select Subcommittee’s investigation show that aviation contractors sought to avoid ‘unnecessary costs’ by terminating employees before executing [Payroll Support Program] agreements,” the report said.

The report found that aviation contractors laid off or furloughed nearly 58,000 employees before applying for assistance through the Payroll Support Program, 17 times the number reported by passenger carriers. At least 16,655 employees were laid off or furloughed between when the application period opened and when companies finalized their agreement with the Treasury Department.

The subcommittee said briefings with Treasury officials and contractors as well as its review of tens of thousands of documents found that the agency knew that companies were conducting layoffs, even as their applications for payroll support were pending, but failed to raise objections or require that furloughed employees be rehired once the funds were received. The subcommittee alleged that led companies to “urgently” fire employees before signing agreements.

“Treasury’s decision to allow layoffs while applications were pending, in conjunction with the delay in executing agreements, meant that many companies paused layoffs for far shorter than the six months Congress intended,” the report said.

The report noted that although Treasury officials have maintained they did not have the ability to lower payroll support awards to reflect the size of a company’s current workforce, the subcommittee argued that is not in keeping with the provisions of the Cares Act.

The report also said that in not imposing a deadline on when the funds had to be spent, Treasury gave companies little or no incentive to rehire workers.

“Many chose not to rehire workers and instead to use the funds to cover payroll for the remaining workers over a period of many months,” the report said.

The Payroll Support Program was created as part of the Cares Act to prevent massive

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Garden Club Sponsoring Virtual Forest Health Program Tonight

PARSIPPANY, NJ—The Mt. Tabor Garden Club is teaming up with Parsippany’s mayor and local scholars and ecologists to present “Forest Health: A Virtual Citizen Science Program,” on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.

“Learn from a study documenting nearly 300 forests in Northern New Jersey how forest understories have changed since the mid-20th Century,” the club said, in an announcement. The program will also cover “the impact of deer and invasive plants on our natural surroundings, evidence-based strategies to address reforestation and ways to raise the awareness of the public on forest stewardship.”

According to National Geographic, forests cover about 30 percent of the world’s land mass. Between 1990 and 2016, the World Bank said a half million square miles—an area bigger than South Africa—of forest were lost.

Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano will make opening remarks on citizen science outreach. Jay Kelly, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Raritan Valley Community College, will deliver the lecture. The event will be moderated by Mt. Tabor resident Kathy S. Walz, an ecologist. The event is free and virtual, and you can get more information and sign up here.

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PLNAR Joins Guidewire PartnerConnect Solution Alliance Program; Publishes Ready for Guidewire Integration for Virtual Interior Inspections


Guidewire Software, Inc. (NYSE: GWRE), the platform P&C insurers trust to engage, innovate, and grow efficiently, today announced that PLNAR, a leading provider of virtual claims technology solutions for the insurance industry, has joined Guidewire PartnerConnect as a Solution partner. The companies also announced that PLNAR’s new Ready for Guidewire validated add-on is now available to insurers in the Guidewire Marketplace.


Insurance customers have high expectations of their insurers and are not afraid to find a new insurer if their expectations are not being met. According to a 2020 J.D. Power study, homeowners insurance claimants can be driven to shop their policies with other insurers if they are required to exert a high level of effort to get their claim resolved. To make the interior property claims process as smooth as possible and help insurers meet these high expectations, PLNAR created their contactless claims platform to put the power in the hands of the policyholder and enable digital adjusting of interior property claims.


Since 2012, PLNAR has worked to develop a program for insurers that combines intuitive AI (artificial intelligence) and AR (augmented reality) technology while leveraging technology that eighty-one percent of Americans already own – smartphones. PLNAR’s platform streamlines the interior property claims process for adjusters and claimants alike by enabling a self-service, digital claims process. With PLNAR’s technology, anyone with a smartphone can document interior property and damage to put desk adjusters virtually into interior spaces and shorten cycle times.


PLNAR’s contactless claims platform, delivered through their Ready for Guidewire add-on for Guidewire ClaimCenter, takes digital photos captured with the PLNAR SNAP app and transforms them into fully measured, interactive 3D models. PLNAR SNAP guides users through simple, standardized steps and procedures to capture photos. Photos taken with SNAP are embedded with dimensioning data, ensuring that adjusters receive the proper claims data, including comprehensive and detailed measurements, without needing to send an adjuster or inspector on site. PLNAR leverages this dimensioning data to generate complete data sets and a fully measured, interactive 3D model of the interior property. Additionally, desk adjusters can assess and measure damage and other details within the pictures using PLNAR’s patented SmartPix technology.


PLNAR’s Ready for Guidewire integration enables claims professionals to:


  • Easily send a PLNAR SNAP project link to field adjusters, gig-workers, inspectors, or policyholders directly from ClaimCenter;

  • Receive access to photos taken with SNAP, interactive 3D models, comprehensive detailed measurement data, and other virtual adjustment tools within ClaimCenter;

  • Enable virtual and desk adjusters to assess and measure damage anywhere in the room with the measure-within picture, SmartPix, technology; and

  • Keep all parties safe by allowing a completely contactless self-service interior property claims inspection.


“Consumers have grown accustomed to being in control with online platforms and apps and are now, more than ever, concerned with safety,” said Andy Greff, CEO, PLNAR. “By enabling contactless inspections for interior property claims through ClaimCenter, Guidewire and PLNAR enable a fully

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Garden Cottage ADU Program Begins In City of Danville

August 31, 2020

Beginning Monday, August 31, 2020, the Town of Danville has begun the Garden Cottage Program, which will allow residents access to free, pre-approved, permit-ready, printable, construction plans for the building of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU).

An ADU is a self-contained living unit that is usually smaller than the main home on the same property. It contains a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. ADUs can be attached to an existing home or may be a separate detached building. Under the Garden Cottage Program, residents can select from a range of ADU plans that will include Studio (640 sq ft), 1 bedroom/1 bath (840 sq ft) and 2 bedroom/2 bath (approx. 1000 sq ft). These customizable plans, designed by local architects, will be offered in three architectural styles: Craftsman, Mediterranean, and Contemporary. Applicants will need to consult with appropriate design professionals to prepare a site plan and any necessary grading plans. Each project is unique and may require additional approvals and fees from other agencies. Town staff can provide assistance with the application process and advise if additional approvals are required. For permitting assistance, call (925)-314-3330.More information on the program can be found at: www.danville.ca.gov/gardencottage

For more information, contact Civil Engineering Associate Guillermo Santolaya at (925) 314-3352 or [email protected]


This press release was produced by the City of Danville. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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Nonprofit Mama’s Kitchen Awarded Grant For Chronic Kidney Disease Nutrition Program

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Preparing food at Mama's Kitchen
Preparing Food at Mama’s Kitchen San Diego. Courtesy Rich Cruse Photography

Mama’s Kitchen announced it received a $100,000 grant from the Cushman Foundation to launch a chronic kidney disease nutrition program.

Support Times of San Diego’s growth
with a small monthly contribution

The nonprofit provides home-delivered, medically tailored meals and nutrition services at no-cost to San Diegans battling critical illnesses including HIV, cancer, congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, and now chronic kidney disease.

Its services allow clients to receive the nutritional support they need without leaving the safety of their home, a critical factor during the COVID-19 pandemic so immunocompromised people are not risking their health to obtain a meal.

“Research shows medically tailored nutrition intervention can have a significant impact at slowing or stopping the progression of chronic kidney disease. After speaking with many of our referring medical professionals and understanding the number of San Diego residents affected by this disease, it became clear a program like this could have a significant impact on countless lives,” said Alberto Cortés, CEO, Mama’s Kitchen.

In San Diego County, an estimated 5,000 people are experiencing stage 4 chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease. During the first four stages, people can slow and even stop the progression of their illness through diet and lifestyle changes, according to the nonprofit.

Mama’s Kitchen’s chronic kidney disease nutrition program is now accepting client referrals. It is the only San Diego-based nutrition service delivering medically tailored meals and disease self-management education to people with chronic kidney disease free of charge.

For more information about Mama’s Kitchen or to support the organization, go to mamaskitchen.org.

Nonprofit Mama’s Kitchen Awarded Grant For Chronic Kidney Disease Nutrition Program was last modified: September 16th, 2020 by Elizabeth Ireland

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DesignerInc Technology Platform and Marketplace For The Interior Design Trade Launches Gilded Circle Loyalty Program

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — DesignerInc is thrilled to announce the launch of the Gilded Circle™ – a tech-infused loyalty program created for the new era of design.

Highlights of the program include:

  • Style Stars. All designers shopping on DesignerInc earn Style Stars™ with every purchase, accruing $25 in Style Stars for every $1000 spent on DesignerInc products. Style Stars are redeemable for credit on future purchases by applying credits at checkout!
  • ShopTalk. Designers and Manufacturers can now elevate their communications in a refreshing, sourcing-focused format via ShopTalk™, a professional networking platform within DesignerInc! The first-of-it’s kind platform allows designers and manufacturers to directly connect with each other. Designers share reveals, announcements and projects, tagging products in the posts while Manufacturers share promotions, events and new introductions, tagging products from their collections. ShopTalk will also feature double Style Star promos, including special incentives for new vendor partners.
  • Tech Tools. Our dynamic technology suite makes everyone’s life easier! Highlights include AI image search, augmented reality options, virtual showrooms, and QR technology all wrapped up in an end-to-end tech platform for the trade, creating a seamless, integrated experience for our Gilded Circle members.
  • Concierge Service. The DesignerInc Concierge is here to support designers and help them fulfill their mission. Our team works alongside the design teams to ensure an ideal experience from start to finish!
  • VIP Previews. See it on DesignerInc first! Online access to special and collection launches and new introductions, co-hosted by our magazine – byDesign.™
  • Gilded Circle Cards. Technology-enabled Gilded Circle cards are issued to all new DesignerInc clients.

The Gilded Circle community of designers and manufacturers have already begun to take advantage of the DesignerInc technology suite to supercharge productivity in our increasingly tech-centered industry.

Designers and vendors not currently partnered with DesignerInc are encouraged to register and experience DesignerInc for themselves by visiting www.designerinc.com.

For more information or images, you can reach the DesignerInc team any time via [email protected]

 

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/designerinc-technology-platform-and-marketplace-for-the-interior-design-trade-launches-gilded-circle-loyalty-program-301126558.html

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DesignerInc Technology Platform and Marketplace For The Interior Design Trade Launches Gilded Circle Loyalty Program | Nachricht

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ –DesignerInc is thrilled to announce the launch of the Gilded Circle™ – a tech-infused loyalty program created for the new era of design.

Highlights of the program include:

  • Style Stars. All designers shopping on DesignerInc earn Style Stars™ with every purchase, accruing $25 in Style Stars for every $1000 spent on DesignerInc products. Style Stars are redeemable for credit on future purchases by applying credits at checkout!
  • ShopTalk. Designers and Manufacturers can now elevate their communications in a refreshing, sourcing-focused format via ShopTalk™, a professional networking platform within DesignerInc! The first-of-it’s kind platform allows designers and manufacturers to directly connect with each other. Designers share reveals, announcements and projects, tagging products in the posts while Manufacturers share promotions, events and new introductions, tagging products from their collections. ShopTalk will also feature double Style Star promos, including special incentives for new vendor partners.
  • Tech Tools. Our dynamic technology suite makes everyone’s life easier! Highlights include AI image search, augmented reality options, virtual showrooms, and QR technology all wrapped up in an end-to-end tech platform for the trade, creating a seamless, integrated experience for our Gilded Circle members.
  • Concierge Service. The DesignerInc Concierge is here to support designers and help them fulfill their mission. Our team works alongside the design teams to ensure an ideal experience from start to finish!
  • VIP Previews. See it on DesignerInc first! Online access to special and collection launches and new introductions, co-hosted by our magazine – byDesign.™
  • Gilded Circle Cards. Technology-enabled Gilded Circle cards are issued to all new DesignerInc clients.

The Gilded Circle community of designers and manufacturers have already begun to take advantage of the DesignerInc technology suite to supercharge productivity in our increasingly tech-centered industry.

Designers and vendors not currently partnered with DesignerInc are encouraged to register and experience DesignerInc for themselves by visiting www.designerinc.com.

For more information or images, you can reach the DesignerInc team any time via [email protected]

 

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/designerinc-technology-platform-and-marketplace-for-the-interior-design-trade-launches-gilded-circle-loyalty-program-301126558.html

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