USDA Launches New Apprenticeship Program Targeting Veterans

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Secretary Vilsack announced this week a new jobs program that will use the national apprenticeship system to hire new employees as agricultural commodity graders, a key role in USDA’s mission to protect American consumers. The new program will also serve as a way to increase jobs for U.S. veterans.

The program, piloted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is a registered national apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training with theoretical and practical instruction in the classroom and online. Apprentices who complete the paid training program will meet the qualifications for a position as a USDA Agricultural Commodities Grader.

Although the program is open to anyone interested in a career in agriculture, Secretary Vilsack said he is proud the program offers veterans a path to success and hopes many will take advantage of the opportunity.

AMS’s Specialty Crops Program will hire apprentices who will receive 12 months of blended technical training on specialty crops inspection, grading and certification, and developmental training on professional skills, such as interpersonal communications and leadership.