UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Butcher School, offered by Penn State Extension, is now seeking applications for its second session, starting in January 2022.
An apprentice training program registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the Penn State Butcher School is designed to develop and promote the skills necessary to become a trained meat processor.
“This is a great opportunity for people interested in the meat industry,” said Jonathan Campbell, associate professor of meat science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, who is overseeing the school. “Participants are going to get a great balance of learning and doing.”
One hundred percent of the class will be placed within the meat-processing industry, Campbell noted, adding there is a need for trained workers. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, meat, poultry and fish products manufactured in Pennsylvania, generate more than $4.3 billion in sales annually, and much of the work force is aging.
“The Penn State Butcher School’s program was designed to meet the needs of industry stakeholders within the commonwealth with the specific goal of creating a skilled workforce,” he said.
Accepted participants in the program receive part-time wages during their attendance, which includes four months of hands-on skill and classroom training with University Park campus faculty at the Penn State Meat Lab.
Additional paid training at an external training site will also be included, with up to two years to complete the apprenticeship. By the conclusion of the program, Campbell pointed out, participants receive necessary industry certifications at no additional cost.
A limited number of individuals will be accepted based on the application and interview process. Interested parties should access the application questionnaire at www.bit.ly/butcher2022.
For more information, contact Dana Ollendyke, firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State University