Jeff Good, Jordan Butler and Emily Stansfield-Refill Jackson Cafe
Jeff Good of Mangia Bene Management group and friend of the RCJ, introduced the primary speaker Jordan Butler. 
 
Jordan Butler the project manager of the Refill Jackson Café initiative is a 2004 Murrah High School graduate.  She attended Sewanee and has 2 master degrees in public service and public health. 
 
The mission of Refill Jackson Initiative is to empower young adults, ages 18 to 24, so that they are more confident, better equipped, and motivated to enter into, navigate, and stay in the workforce. 
 
The Refill Jackson Initiative is a non-profit workforce development program that provides job training, soft skill development, social service support, educational support, mentoring, and employment services.
 
Refill Cafe will be a vibrant restaurant establishment that will be open to the general public for weekday lunch. Refill Café will also provide on the job training opportunities for all Refill Jackson Initiative’s participants.
 
Together, Refill Café and the Refill Jackson Initiative will strive to: 
·         Serve delicious, healthy food in an intentionally designed space
·         Revitalize a community gathering place that welcomes everyone
·         Train and provide avenues of opportunity to our young neighbors and fellow residents of Jackson
 
Refill Cafe  locateisd in a renovated and repurposed coffee house in West Jackson that will serve as the hub of the program.  The first floor and surrounding decks will house an operating café and kitchen where the learning and practicing work-ready and technical skills will take place.  A complement of classrooms and meeting space on the second floor provide Refill “members” community space to complete a well-designed curriculum for soft-skills, financial literacy, educational support, and links to health and social services.  

Key to Refill’s design is a growing network of partners that have committed to an array of essential services that complete the supported “pathway.” These include social service referring agencies, financial institutions, educational programs, and physical and mental health providers.  Beyond year one as new cohorts begin, staff will be added to support expanding partnerships and sustain alumni progress. 
 
Each cohort is made up of twelve members over a ten-week period.  Phase one of the program is five weeks and initiates members into an ethos of respect for self and others and promotes guidelines for persistence and mutual accountability.  The pathway includes a Career Investment Plan (CIP) that is developed by the member with staff support.  During the ten weeks, members complete the soft-skills curriculum, are introduced to technical skills within the restaurant, and receive additional services as identified through the CIP process.  
Upon graduation, Refill members are placed either in full-time employment, continuing education programs, or an internship that extends their learning opportunities in settings beyond the food services sector.  Although some members may elect to pursue a career in the food services industry, the café setting primarily provides a framework to experience and practice skills that are transferrable to any employment.  
 
Among Refill Jackson Initiative's outcomes, members will hone skills needed to be successful in the workplace.  They will build confidence to apply for jobs and navigate the work environment and prove to themselves and to employers that they can be productive, reliable employees. This scaffolded pathway will demonstrate how to conquer the barriers that otherwise impede successful transition to adulthood.  
 
The Refill Jackson initiative provides paid internships through grants that have been awarded in part by the Kellogg Foundation.  You can get involved by donating, offering experience to the interns and partnering with Refill.  For more information, please visit refilljacksoncafe.com.