Growing Jobs Project

Employment Initiative

Growing Jobs Project

A fresh idea that’s making good things happen in our community

The Growing Jobs Project is a fresh, new way in which KISRA is making a positive difference in our community. It’s a farm-to-table program that’s creating jobs, encouraging entrepreneurship, and giving people access to fresh, organic produce for a healthier lifestyle.

What are the key components in the program?

  • Greenhouses, where we sell organic produce grown both in our greenhouses and on our urban farm.
  • Commercial kitchen, where we prepare meals for schools, restaurants, healthcare centers, and other organizations that need fresh, healthy foods. Entrepreneurs and caters also regularly use our kitchen to expand their operations.
  • KISRA farm stand in the popular Capitol Market in Charleston, where we sell affordable, organic produce from local farms as well as foods prepared in our commercial kitchen.
  • Mobile food truck with a full kitchen to sell food at fairs, festivals and special events.

How do I qualify for employment through the program?

Are you...

  • a current or former TANF recipient?
  • the parent of a TANF recipient?
  • living below the federal poverty line?
  • presently or previously incarcerated in a WV jail or prison?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are eligible.

What skills, training and wages will I receive through the program?

You’ll learn real-life skills to support yourself and your family today. You’ll also be encouraged to be your own employer someday by learning about organic food, a growing trend that will provide opportunities long into the future. You’ll also get:

  • FREE cooking skills and on-the-job training
  • A SERVsafe Certification
  • Hands-on skills for planting and growing produce
  • Knowledge of market trends and prices
  • A job coach to help you find long-term employment
  • Wages from $8 to $15 per hour

How does the program benefit our local farmers?

Entrepreneur farmers in our area may add to their incomes by selling their fresh produce, flowers and herbs at the KISRA farm stand at the Capitol Market. Our farm stand also sells foods grown in our greenhouses and made by businesses using our commercial kitchen.

How does the program benefit caters and entrepreneurs?

Caters and entrepreneurs may expand their operations in our fully equipped and licensed kitchen, available for rent. The kitchen offers wet prep, dry prep and cooking space. It also offers separate areas for food processing, baking and food preparation, which allows for more than one user at a time.

How does the program benefit members of our community?

Community members may get fresh, organic produce at our KISRA greenhouses, our Capitol Market farm stand, or through our mobile food truck with its fully equipped kitchen. The truck delivers fresh food daily to schools and other area businesses. Members of the community may also request our delivery service to receive groceries.

How can I get more information about the program?

To learn more, contact Terri Berkley or call (304) 395-6852.

“I could not find a job with my background, but I am a dedicated worker. This job at KISRA is helping me feed my family.“

Roark Sullivan
Men’s Shelter