Job Corps
Job Corps student chopping green onions
Student Story

Charles Armstrong

Executive Chef

Charles Armstrong, Job Corps graduate, wearing a chef coat
Charles Armstrong, Job Corps graduate, wearing a chef coat

I’m doing what I want to do, and I love being an executive chef. My goal is to one day run multiple restaurants.

Charles Armstrong is the executive chef at Catch 54, a high-quality seafood restaurant considered one of the best waterfront restaurants in Delaware. Getting the job was no accident for Charles. His years of hard work and training gave him the opportunity to succeed.

It all started with Job Corps.

When Charles dropped out of high school in his hometown of Fort Dodge, Iowa, he had no job prospects and was going nowhere. That’s when he and a friend met a Job Corps recruiter. After hearing about the opportunities the program would give him, he was all in. Just a few weeks later, he was on a bus bound for the Denison Job Corps Center in Iowa.

When Charles arrived, he chose to pursue the Culinary Arts career area, as he’d always had a love for cooking. He completed his training at the Denison center, while also earning his high school equivalency certificate.

After leaving Job Corps, he moved to Omaha, Neb., where he worked in a variety of jobs, including a number of kitchens where he was able to further hone the skills he learned while at Denison Job Corps.

A few years ago, Charles moved to Delaware and quickly landed a job as a chef at Northeast Seafood Kitchen, part of the SoDel Concepts family of restaurants. It didn’t take long for Charles’ skills to shine through, and he was soon thereafter chosen to lead the kitchen at Catch 54.

For Charles, running the kitchen at such a prestigious restaurant is a dream come true.

To potential Job Corps students, Charles has this to say: “If you go to Job Corps and you stick it out, you will see success. It’s important to always work hard. The passion you have for what you do will come through if you just keep believing in yourself.”