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paid, on-the-job training and skill development combined with personal support to help individuals with barriers to employment move toward professional and personal goals

3 pathways to choose from

Job Description: For beginning farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs in mind, who will build entry-level training related to small business management, marketing, and small scale agricultural production. Trainees receive industry recognized certifications including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and Pesticide Management to help develop an array of necessary skills. Trainees in Abingdon spend a large part of their time with the Late Bloomers Social Enterprise which sells cut flowers, plant starts, and is moving into bulb and seed sale to generate revenue for the

  • Time Frame: 6-8 Months
  • Cohort Size: 2-3 associates per location
  • Locations: Across Southwest Virginia
  • Associated Initiatives: Appalachian Harvest Burgers ‘& Bowls Food Trailer
  • Certifications Earned: OSHA General Safety certification and the SERVSafe Food Handler certification

Job Description: Trainees will work in the Appalachian Harvest Food Hub in Duffield, learning entry-level inventory, warehousing, logistics, and distribution skills. Trainees will also learn fork lift operation, how to use a pallet jack, and how to operate equipment related to food washing. Trainees will prepare food for distribution to retail outlets, schools, and food pantries, and will manage food box distributions from the Food Hub every Friday. Trainees will also support the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub.

  • Time Frame: 6-8 Months
  • Cohort Size: 2 associates per location
  • Locations: Duffield, VA
  • Associated Initiatives: Appalachian Harvest Food Hub, Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub
  • Certifications Earned: OSHA Safety standards and forklift and pallet operations as well as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and Pesticide Management with options to pursue Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and LEED Green Associate.

Job Description: For entry and intermediate level food workers, who will work in ASD’s food truck providing nutritious and primarily local-sourced food to customers throughout Southwest Virginia. Trainees will learn food prep, food safety, and food service best practices, as well as business management skills like ordering and inventory, marketing, and customer service. Trainees will attend festivals as part of the food truck’s sales strategy, which will require weekend work.

  • Time Frame: 6-8 Months
  • Cohort Size: 2-3 associates per location
  • Locations: Across Southwest Virginia
  • Associated Initiatives: Appalachian Harvest Burgers ‘& Bowls Food Trailer
  • Certifications Earned: OSHA General Safety certification and the SERVSafe Food Handler certification

WHat are Barriers to Employment?

A barrier to employment is a challenge that prevents someone from getting or keeping a job or advancing their career. These challenges include, but aren’t limited to:

Meet the Groundwork Team

Hannah Gibbs

Workforce Development Program Director

David

Tazewell Garden Manager

Lisa Worley

Abingdon Garden & Greenhouse Manager

Josh Thompson

Manager of Social Enterprise

Bob Etherton

Groundwork Commercial Kitchen Manager & Cohort Supervisor

Tori Jessee

Groundwork Personal and Professional Development Manager


Get Involved

We are always looking for business partners who can provide job shadowing, mentoring, and educational opportunities. If you’re interested in helping build our economy by building a more skilled workforce, contact Hannah Gibbs, Workforce Development Program Director.

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