The STEPUP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, provides underserved and underrepresented individuals with training, encouragement, and opportunities to enter the craft spirits community through a comprehensive internship program.
The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) recognized a lack of diversity in the alcoholic beverage sector long before it catapulted to media headlines in 2020. Social justice issues pervaded our airwaves. Unless you live under a rock, most Americans now understand a diverse workplace contributes to higher performance, innovation, creativity, and overall growth for businesses throughout America.
STEPUP Foundation was launched in August 2020 to bridge the gap between an interest in and acquiring skills to succeed in a segment of the alcohol beverage community.
The alcoholic beverage section captures the best of what Americans offer within a manufacturing community: passion, innovation, creativity, collaboration, independence, marriage of skills and disciplines, and outreach among multiple sectors from agriculture, to hospitality and tourism, to marketing and sales to industrial processes.
The pipeline to recruit qualified candidates is narrow, however, and underrepresented communities may lack knowledge or training to access this beverage sector.
The purpose of STEPUP is to increase talent through facilitation of workplace diversity. Specifically, STEPUP, working with distilleries and suppliers throughout the United States, will provide a comprehensive training program and provide job exposure for those of different races, genders, disabilities, and sexual orientations.
Successful scholarship interns will bring passion, motivation, and an ability to immerse in an up to year long program which will expose candidates to all facets of owning and operating a distillery.