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UFCW Local 21 Meatcutters Apprenticeship Program provides pathways to rewarding careers

November 16, 2018 Updated: September 8, 2020

UFCW local unions around the country offer a wide range of programs and training to enhance the professional skills of their members and help them take their careers to the next level.

One such program is UFCW Local 21’s Meatcutters Apprenticeship Program. Domico Kelly, UFCW Local 21 member and graduate of the program, shares with us the advantages of working as a meatcutter and why he’s grateful he took the leap and signed up:

The Meat Apprenticeship Program of King County in Washington near Seattle is a nationally recognized program that teaches a diverse student population to become experts in the meat cutting trade. Students graduate from the program with an official WA certification which is honored in all 50 states.

“I didn’t just want a job, I wanted a union job. A career,” says Kelly. “I wanted to work hard to provide for my family. So when the UFCW offered me a chance to start a 2 year program to become a certified butcher, it was an incredible opportunity and I didn’t hesitate.”

“This is a good trade to have. I’m a person with disability, so when I came out of high school, I didn’t really know what I was going to be doing. But once I got back here, I said, ‘I could do this.'”

“I’m really glad I did this. It’s good, decent money. You’re going to be able to pay your bills. You’re going to be able to do a whole lot. You could even buy your own house. This job is a good job. If you have a family, you’re going to be able to take care of your family.”

The comprehensive program focuses on teaching students to exceed levels of industry competency through a rigorous and challenging curriculum. Students learn how to work more efficiently both independently and in teams. They explore their employers’ policies, procedures and expectations while learning how to maximize productivity, profitability, craftsmanship, and customer service. Meat apprentice students learn how to be more effective employees and to exceed customer expectations.

Learn more about the program

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