Client Profile - Giancarlo

In this month’s newsletter, the Supported Employment Program would like to spotlight our client Giancarlo, who has been working at Continental Gourmet in Gardena since March 6th, 2017. Giancarlo came to ICAN with a passion for working with food, and as a result, we helped him get a job in a local market that is famous for its empanadas, meats, imported Central and South American foods, and homemade salsas. Being hired by Continental Gourmet was a dream come true for Giancarlo because it afforded him the opportunity to work in the kitchen.

However, following his passion, working hands-on with food in the kitchen, did not happen overnight. At first, it took time for Giancarlo to adjust to his daily tasks (sweeping the parking lot, cleaning the glass, facing the products, and restocking the various refrigerators). Eventually, taking out the trash, flattening the cardboard boxes, sweeping the inside of the store, and pulling expired products off the shelves were added to his job description.

No matter what task Continental Gourmet asked Giancarlo to complete or added to his routine, he did it with a smile on his face. He always gives 110% in everything he does. Because of Giancarlo’s dedication to his tasks and his skillful ability to adapt to new ones quickly, his role at Continental Gourmet is always growing.

In the fall of 2017, just over six months after being hired by Continental Gourmet, Giancarlo finally got to see his passion realized: he got to work in the kitchen. Since then, Giancarlo spends his Mondays at work prepping the tapas. After Giancarlo finishes spreading the tapas on a tray, his coworkers will fill them with various ingredients before sealing them and cooking them. Once they are complete, customers enjoy the empanadas that gave Continental Gourmet their claim to fame.

As Giancarlo approaches the impressive milestone of being employed at Continental Gourmet for a year, he continues to grow. Currently, Giancarlo works in the kitchen on Mondays. But because of ICAN’s dedicated job coaches, the incredibly supportive staff and management at Continental Gourmet, and Giancarlo’s passion for cooking, the goal as he starts his second year with the company is to spend three days a week working with food and the other two maintaining the store. Giancarlo has had many hurdles to overcome, but because of his success so far, he has the knowledge that he can make his dreams a reality with hard work and lots of practice.

Giancarlo’s job at Continental Gourmet would never have existed without our generous donors. Because of the financial support of those who believe in ICAN’s mission, Giancarlo will not only be able to sustain his career, but many other clients will have the opportunity to begin theirs.