Elmhurst bakery offers job training

Synapse House in Elmhurst has launched Flour to Empower Bakery and Employment Program to provide job training opportunities to individuals affected by brain injury and stroke. This is the only social enterprise specific to individuals with acquired brain injury in the Chicago area.

The Employment Program provides a work readiness program, a culinary internship and supported employment at Synapse's bakery. Individuals will be trained by the pastry chef and work to obtain a food handlers card.

The Flour to Empower Bakery features muffins and breads on a menu including a blueberry lemon muffin, apple cranberry muffin, cinnamon roll muffin, chocolate bread and a carrot berry bread.

The items, as well as T-shirts, are available on the website Bakery staff members hope local businesses, church groups, clubs or schools will consider purchasing baked goods for meetings and events such as recitals to support the mission.

Synapse House invites the public to stop by its booth at the Elmhurst Farmers Market from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays on Vallette Street, just east of York Road, to shop and to meet individuals working to recover from acquired brain injury as well as the staff.

Traumatic brain injury and stroke often lead to long-term impairment, functional limitations and disability affecting quality of life.

Approximately 60 percent of those with traumatic brain injuries of working age (16 to 60 years) who were discharged from inpatient rehabilitation following a traumatic brain injury between 2001 and 2010 were still unemployed two years after their injury.

More than a third of those who were employed were employed only in a part-time capacity. Individuals affected by brain injury and stroke have abilities that can be used for productive work in a work environment, however, often the deficits that remain require special accommodations such as can be provided at Synapse House bakery.

The mission of Synapse House is to engage, empower and employ individuals affected by brain injury and stroke. Synapse House offers a clubhouse day program, family and caregiver boot camps, family support group and the Employment Program.

For information, contact Executive Director Deborah Giesler at or (877) 932-1120.

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