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Groundwork, ASD’s innovative workforce development program delivers paid, on-the-job training to people with barriers to employment.

If you’re experiencing employment barriers that keep you from making career progress, we’re here to help. Our goal is to deliver transferable skills supported by industry certification so that you will have broad options for growing a strong career. Earn money while you build valuable skills that will help set you on a path to a solid career and apply today!

Need skills? Apply to Groundwork!

Barriers to Employment

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


Garden and Greenhouse Training Associates

Have you always wanted to learn to grow crops for yourself or for profit? If so, consider this entry-level producer and/or entrepreneurship option. As a Garden and Greenhouse Associate, you will: 

  • Work in our community garden and/or greenhouse
  • Immerse yourself in the world of growing, fine-tuning the basics of tending to herbs, vegetables, and flowers
  • Work in the Late Bloomers cut flower social enterprise
  • Learn how to develop your own agriculture-related business, including the creation of a unique brand, marketing, customer acquisition, and funding resources (optional)

Food Service / Food Trailer Training Associate

Are you passionate about providing healthy, locally-sourced food to people in the community? Do you enjoy food preparation, and want to learn more about food safety and kitchen management? In this program, you’ll learn:

  • Food safety procedures to earn your ServSafe certification
  • How to wash, store, prepare, and serve food, safely
  • Research and develop new recipes and menus
  • Business essentials for running a food trailer or food business

Warehouse Associate

Are you interested in being a part of the behind-the-scenes action of produce distribution? As a Warehouse Associate, you will work in our Appalachian Harvest Food Hub and:

  • Learn how to safely handle fresh produce from our network of regional farmers
  • Learn the ins and outs of industry best practices for receiving and distribution 
  • Manage and track the logistics of product inventory 
  • Earn certificates in OSHA 10-Hour Safety and Forklift Safety
  • Potentially pursue a CDL certification

Blog posts

Meet the Groundwork Team

Hannah Gibbs

Workforce Development Program Director


Tazewell Garden Manager

Lisa Worley

Abingdon Garden & Greenhouse Manager

Josh Thompson

Manager of Social Enterprise

Perry Thompson

Groundwork Commercial Kitchen Manager & Cohort Supervisor

Tori Jessee

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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