As the global spirits industry grows, the world continues to become smaller, and ignoring the need for diversity and inclusion is no longer an option. STEPUP Foundation [Spirits Training Entrepreneurship Program for Underrepresented Professionals] was created to bridge the gap between the underserved and underrepresented workforce in the drinks industry with knowledge, experience, and skill.

STEPUP believes its immersive internship program with distilleries and wholesalers throughout the United States will provide a comprehensive one-year training experience. The internship is accompanied by a generous living stipend and will provide job exposure for those of different races, color, national origins, genders, and sexual orientations.

Our goal is to provide opportunities that open the door for underrepresented individuals and help interns build the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to continue to thrive in our industry.

Are you interested in joining us? Are you seeking to gain an understanding of, relevant skills and hands-on training in the craft spirits industry? Are you ready to enter a vibrant entrepreneurial community? Do you want to challenge yourself with a year-long educational experience?

Apply today!

Eligible candidates must be:

  • Willing to commit to a full year of training
  • A member of an underrepresented or underserved demographic
  • A U.S. Citizen or able to demonstrate proof of eligibility to work in the U.S. with a green card or work permit/visa
  • 21 years of age or older
  • High school graduates (or its equivalent)
  • Open to a background check in allowable states
  • Committed to following procedures, including health protocols, at each individual distillery/wholesaler in which the intern is placed
  • Open to serving in a graduate alumni group

Successful interns will bring passion, motivation, and an ability to immerse in a year-long program that will expose candidates to all facets of owning and operating a distillery, including working with a distributor.

The STEPUP Foundation was founded in August of 2020 and launched after 18 months of planning by its dedicated Board Members; David Cid, Former Rum Master, Bacardi, and Host, Creator, Producer, Azucar y Limon Podcast; Rebecca L. Harris, Chief Distiller, Catoctin Creek Distillery; Julie Kinch, CEO/Founder of JK Leadership Advisors, LLC; Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO, American Craft Spirits Associ- ation; Chris Montana, Founder, Du Nord Craft Spirits, Chris Underwood, CEO and Board Member, Young’s Holdings, and Chairman of the Board, Board of Managers RNDC- West; and Ingrid Wetzell, Human Resources Director, Bently Heritage Estate Distillery. 

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