Local Student Launches Career Goals at The Watershed Cafe
At The Watershed Cafe, our made-from-scratch baked goods aren't just for humans anymore! If you have been to the restaurant recently, you may have noticed a newly-crafted product in a jar by the register: All-natural Dog Treats. These specialty snacks are good for your furry friends, with a good story of education behind them.
Julia Sandberg, a senior at the Osceola High School, has been a valuable team member at The Watershed Cafe for a year. Through the school's Youth Apprenticeship Program, Julia is learning the ins-and-outs of the restaurant industry. "From this school-to-work curriculum, I can go into work, gain hands-on experience, and prepare for the field that I would like to make a career of," Julia described.
From December through May, Julia will be studying under owner Rita Rasmuson's tutelage. With Rita's guidance, Julia is learning what it takes to own and operate a successful restaurant. "Through job-shadowing Rita, I observe what she does and work toward supporting her in that role," Julia said. "I would like to pursue a career in the culinary arts, and run my own bakery someday. I am gaining experience in the kitchen and learning trade skills to use in the future."
Through on-the-job training, Julia is learning the fundamental foundation of the restaurant industry. Developing a new product, the all-natural dog treats, is part of that training. "This special project, creating and marketing healthy dog treats, is a new challenge for me," Julia shared. "I am learning how to put ingredients together to create something new, expanding my baking knowledge, and collaborating with Summer Kelly regarding best packaging and sales practices."
With Rita's supervision, Julia has created two varieties of dog treats: pumpkin molasses and peanut butter oat. Made with few and simple ingredients, these specialty baked goods are a wholesome and natural treat for your pets.
The Youth Apprenticeship Program is a statewide school-to-work initiative, combining academic and technical training with mentored, paid, hands-on learning. "It is a rigorous program requiring students to fulfill specific criteria and 450 hours of paid work to earn credit for their efforts," shared Amy Krenz, Osceola High School's program director. "The ultimate goal is to connect students with a career pathway through valuable, on-the-job experience." The vision is to prepare students for future career options and help them to become skilled, trained, and knowledgeable members of society. The program creates a seamless process for students from secondary high school to post-secondary school, and into the workforce.