When HVS held its Global Summit in New Orleans in May 2007, it embraced the opportunity to connect with Café Reconcile – a popular area restaurant that also serves as a training program for local youths. Café Reconcile has successfully enrolled more than 250 individuals, ages 16-25, and educated them about basic life, interpersonal, and work skills, allowing them a successful transition into the entertainment and hospitality industries. Together, these industries provide the second largest non-governmental work force in New Orleans. Café Reconcile works in particular with “at-risk” youth and provides them with a cornerstone in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans, an area suffering from economic hardship.
HVS invited Café Reconcile Executive Director Craig Cuccia to its Summit to share insight into the mission and role of the organization. Cuccia, a distinguished member of New Orleans’ hospitality industry, founded Café Reconcile and continues to promote its accomplishments and efforts.
Additionally, HVS invited Café Reconcile students, alumni and staff to lunch during the Summit, in the hopes of creating a comfortable professional networking environment. HVS executives later visited Café Reconcile for lunch at the restaurant and spoke to the students about the multitude of opportunities available to them, proving that it is possible to rise through the ranks of washing dishes or working in the kitchen, to one day becoming a general manager.