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Fareway Participates in Meat-Cutting Apprenticeship for High Schoolers

Work-based learning initiative offered for students in Iowa
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Fareway Apprenticeship
Independence High School junior Katie Finnegan (center) is the first student to sign up for Independence’s initial registered meat-cutting apprenticeship program.

Midwest grocer Fareway Stores Inc. has joined a high school registered apprenticeship for meat cutting in Independence, Iowa. The grocer is teaming with Independence High School and Iowa EDGE-Boone High School on the innovative work-based learning initiative.

Fareway grocery stores are known for their impressive full-service meat departments. The companys rapidly growing stand-alone Meat Markets also offer high-quality products and prepared meals.  

“Fareway is excited to partner with Iowa EDGE-Boone High School to provide the opportunity for local students to participate in a registered apprenticeship program and develop career-ready skills,” said Abby Wiley, market manager for Independence Fareway. “The ability to work one on one with a student will give them what they need to be a successful meat cutter, along with having great customer service and merchandising skills.” 

“We’ve partnered with Fareway to create a one-of-a-kind apprenticeship in meat cutting,” noted Jill Janes, director of innovative learning for Boone Community School District (BCSD). “Our apprentices will be able to gain job-specific culinary skills and build core skills in communication, collaboration and professionalism. Not only is this apprenticeship program available to serve students in Independence, but this is a scalable program, available throughout the state of Iowa, in any community where a Fareway is located.”

BCSD focuses on career awareness, preparation and training to realize this vision through Boone EDGE (Empowering Desire, Guiding Experience). BCSD’s high school registered apprenticeship program, Iowa EDGE-Boone High School, is a unique example in the state of work-based learning that helps both students and local communities grow.

The model for the meat-cutting registered apprenticeship program allows for a student to complete all or a part of the coursework online. Iowa EDGE-Boone High School makes the program available to high schools across the state.

“The partnership program between Independence High School and Iowa EDGE-Boone High School truly provides an edge when it comes to great jobs in the future for our students, and we are excited to offer a meat-cutting apprenticeship that will provide valuable skills long-term for students,” said Michael Haden, Independence agricultural educator and FFA advisor.

Fareway has recently been building up its reputation as the premier meat destination in the Midwest with the opening of several Meat Markets.

Last month, the retailer opened a Fareway Meat Market in Luverne, Minn. The renovated 2,300-square-foot store is the first stand-alone Meat Market in Minnesota. In July, Fareway expanded its operational footprint by entering its seventh state with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a 7,400-square-foot Meat Market in Olathe, Kan.

Additionally, the company recently hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a 8,700-square-foot Meat Market in Kansas City, Mo.

Family-owned Fareway employs more than 12,000 associates in its more than 130 stores located in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The Boone, Iowa-based company is No. 77 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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