Café Augustine and the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC) announce the opening of Café Augustine, located in the Newport Library, 3730 Market St., Mon., Oct. 12. Opening ceremonies and a blessing of the Café by Monsignor Robert J Siffrin, V.G., begin at 10:00 a.m. and the event features free refreshments and family fun.
Café Augustine is a four-month personal growth and work readiness program operated independently of the Library, but located in the café space in the Newport Library. Café Augustine aims to equip young adults age 18 through 24 with tools necessary to change their lives, in part by operating the cafe.
“The Café utilizes 21st Century Success Principles curriculum, developed by the New Orleans Job Initiative. These address participants’ understand of workplace culture and are tailored for inner-city youth with little connection to the labor market. Life skills topics include making rational decisions, personal responsibility, personal/family finance, teamwork, dependability, ‘can-do’ consciousness, recognizing and defusing racism in the workplace, building relationships of trust, and more,” notes Reverend Edward Brienz, Café Augustine Executive Director.
Students are mentored by restaurant staff at the café in five restaurant roles, stewards, floor service or wait staff, pantry chef, sous chef, and department chef.
“Job placement is another role for the café, where students are offered a four-week paid internship at various local food-service providers who are incentivized and encouraged to retain the employees and to mentor them beyond entry-level employment,” says Rev. Brienz.
Library Executive Director Heidi M. Daniel, says, “We’re very happy to have a café back in the Newport Library. We have been working with Father Brienz and the Café staff for the past several months and are pleased that the opening is just around the corner. We are excited to partner with Café Augustine on a program that helps young people fulfill their potential. We believe that what the Library offers in materials and services provide a similar opportunity, making this a wonderful partnership.”
Agenda for the event to include: Remarks and blessing of the café by Monsignor Robert J. Siffrin, V.G., Vicar-General of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown. Welcome messages from Café Augustine Executive Director Reverend Edward Brienz and Library Executive Director Heidi M. Daniel, Mayor John McNally, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, Janet Tarpley, Youngstown 6th Ward Councilwoman and Rose Carter, Executive Director, ACTION.
Additionally, for the kids there will be a cotton candy machine and guest appearances by costumed characters Olaf and Elsa, SpongeBob Squarepants, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Café Augustine is providing free finger foods in the Newport Library Meeting Room at 10:00 a.m.
At start-up, Café Augustine hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. The hope is to expand hours in the future.
The café’s front-of-the-house manager is Abraham Covarrubias.
The Café features a varied menu with many economically-priced items. “We want to be the place where everyone feels comfortable, with excellent food and great service,” notes Father Brienz, “a place where no one is left out because of pricing.”
Additionally, anyone showing a Library Card from the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC) can get a large cookie and a drink for just $1, another benefit of PLYMC’s “Show Me Your Card” campaign for Library Card sign-ups.
Prospective students in this program, as well as family members of potential students, pastors, social workers, case managers and other interested parties, can call Father Edward Brienz at 234.354.4254 or email email@example.com.