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ITALY: Graduate fulfills dream of owning a business

Salesian graduate credits his education and internship for helping him start his own pizzeria


(MissionNewswire) Alin Cazacu is a graduate of the Salesian Vocational Training Center in Serravalle Scrivia, a commune in the province of Alessandria in the Italian region of Piedmont. Thanks to his determination and commitment to his education, he was able to fulfill his dream of starting his own business.

Cazacu, age 27, lives in Sardigliano and runs his own pizzeria with his business partner and best friend. The business has been in operation for three years. During COVID-19 restrictions, they could only provide pizza as take out, but the hope is to reopen the dining room to full capacity. The pizzeria has become a meeting place for people in the neighborhood.

Cazacu credits his education, and in particular, the internship he was provided, in helping him prepare for operating a business. He was able to take the skills he learned in the classroom and apply them in a real working environment. He took sales courses while at the Salesian Vocational Training Center and learned how to operate a business.

“A friend of mine recommended the school and course to me. He told me about a beautiful environment, useful for learning and becoming prepared for the workforce,” said Cazacu. The training course led him to an internship in a clothing store and then working as an employee in a pizzeria.

Cazacu added, “In the store, I put into practice the notions learned above all on how to approach customers, be polite and how to understand the needs of those in front of you. The course was very useful because they also taught me English—essential these days—and I was able to take the HACCP qualification for preparing and serving food and drinks, which came in handy later, saving time and money. Finally, I have perfected the theoretical knowledge through an internship.”

A staff member at the Salesian Vocational Training Center noted, “The course, which is completely free, includes 300 hours of an internship during students’ third year in the program after the classroom work is completed. The students learn sales techniques, cash management, organization of the point of sale, in addition to languages including English, Russian and business Chinese, which are all for dealing with customers who arrive in Serravalle.”

After a few years of working for a pizzeria, Cazacu and his friend decided to go on their own. Now he bakes and serves pizzas and can’t wait to go back to serving his customers in the dining room.

Young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population in Italy. Vocational training is an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between work and school.

Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Italy – Alin, from pupil to entrepreneur thanks to Salesian Vocational Training

Salesian Missions – Italy

UNICEF – Italy Poverty

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