Food Inspector Apprenticeship Programs for Veterans
By Suzanne Hensell, OPACE
Veterans and service members planning to transition out of active duty can pursue a new career through FSIS’ Food Inspector Apprenticeship Programs. Program Manager Shonda Moore explained that the programs were developed for veterans and service members because military veterinary food inspection specialists help protect service members and their families by inspecting all food purchased by DOD. This closely aligns with FSIS’ mission to protect the public’s health by ensuring the safety of meat, poultry and egg products.
FSIS food inspector (FI) positions are mission critical and in high demand. Additionally, hiring veterans is a priority for FSIS, and Army veterinary food inspection specialists have experience and skillsets that translate well into FSIS FI positions and provide a rewarding career path for federal service. An Army veteran herself, Moore is honored to bring more veterans to the Agency.
Food Inspector Pre-Apprenticeship Program
FSIS’ program is the first pre-apprenticeship program in the federal government. Participants in the 4-week Pre-Apprenticeship Program are still on active duty thanks to FSIS’ partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD) through its Career Skills Program (CSP); service members can participate while they are within 180 days of transitioning out of the service.
CSP affords transitioning service members the opportunity to participate in employment skills training. “FSIS is directly aligned with DOD’s goal by investing in the transitioning soldier, providing highly skilled training and affording service members the opportunity to participate in our Pre-Apprenticeship Program,” said Moore. “Our program places service members on a glide path for career growth and development, meaning those who successfully complete the pre-program matriculate into the 12-month apprenticeship program.”
FSIS Apprenticeship Program
After successfully completing the Pre-Apprenticeship Program, veterans receive a temporary appointment into FSIS’ 12-month paid Apprenticeship Program as a GS-5, Step 1. After successfully completing the paid 12-month program, apprentices will receive an appointment as a GS-7, Step 1.
How it Works
Enrollment is on a rolling basis for the Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Read more about FSIS’ Food Inspector Apprenticeship Programs and share with veterans and transitioning service members who may be interested in applying.
Throughout the process, Moore frequently communicates with both participants and supervisors. Moore plans to stay in touch with graduates to receive feedback about the program to ensure continuous process improvement. Said Moore, “My hope is that as the program matures, it is able to establish a pipeline of well-trained food inspectors.”
On Oct. 5, U.S. Army Sgt. Arshad Frazier, an FSIS Veterans Recruitment pre-apprentice, is on the slaughter floor examining the heart of a market hog during post-mortem inspection. Frazier is assigned to Establishment M-45858 in Rochester, Washington, a mobile processing unit. Photo by Dr. Sheena Tarrant, OFO.