Paid student apprenticeships with area food and farm businesses are now open for
applications from WNC students. The apprenticeship program is part of the EmPOWERing
Mountain Food Systems Project in the seven western counties of North Carolina, including the
Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Mountain Food & Farm
Apprenticeship Program brings education and workforce development opportunities to the
region in partnership with Western Carolina University, Haywood Community College,
Southwestern Community College, and Tri-County Community College.

Paid Apprentices are matched with regional food and farming Mentor Businesses along the
local supply chain. By pairing unique student skill sets with business needs, we have an
opportunity to help provide services Mentors need to improve their business’ profitability and
exposure while supplying real life experience for college students and the potential for future
local business development.

This program is designed to encourage buying and eating local. The far western mountain
region of NC has bountiful farmland, accessible natural resources, admired educational
institutions, an amazing sense of community and businesses which strive to promote an active
and healthy lifestyle. The mission of the Mountain Food and Farm Apprenticeship Programs is
to bring all of these resources together for regional economic success.

Students can apply at Apprentices must be enrolled in one of the following
educational institutions or be a graduate within 1 year:

● Western Carolina University;
● Haywood Community College;
● Southwestern Community College; or
● Tri-County Community College.

Students originally from the area and enrolled in other colleges or universities who are returning
to the region for school breaks are also eligible. Apprenticeship terms are 8-week or 16-week
positions with an average of 20 hours per work week. Students must be 18 years of age or
older in order to participate.

More information here or contact Christina Newhouse, Mountain Food & Farm Apprenticeship
Program Manager, EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems Project, at or (828) 361-2266.