Archived Story

‘Beach Bites’ trains Benton Harbor residents

Published 11:28am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kinexus announces the opening of Beach Bites by the Bridge Academy in the concession stand at Jean Klock Park.

The new social enterprise will provide training and work experience for Benton Harbor residents while generating revenue for Kinexus to reinvest in other vocational training programs.

“We don’t want to be a non-profit that goes around with its hand out all the time. We want to create projects that are sustainable and allow us to generate revenue while providing valuable work experience desperately needed in communities like Benton Harbor,” said Kinexus Executive Director Todd Gustafson.

Gustafson says the idea evolved from a conversation he had with Emergency Manager Tony Saunders. Saunders wanted the concession stand to be open knowing it would attract more people to the beach and encourage them to stay longer.

Gustafson and his team had already been exploring culinary-based social enterprises for several months knowing southwest Michigan’s booming hospitality industry needs skilled workers.

“Everyone knows how important jobs are to the city of Benton Harbor,” Saunders said. “This partnership will provide not only employment for city residents, but also training and work experience that will help them begin careers.”

Beach Bites features hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and a variety of other snacks.

Prices range from $1.50 for candy to $3.50 for a cheeseburger. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. except the Fourth of July, when it will stay open until 9 p.m.

Kinexus is a non-profit organization that invests approximately $10 million to $13 million each year in connecting people, investments and organizations with strategies and services that make the southwest Michigan region a great place to live, work and play. It is dedicated to creating solutions for business, workforce and community challenges that promote economic vitality in the southwest Michigan region.

For more information, go to www.Kinexus.org.

 

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