The cider industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 15 years. With more than 1,000 cider producers now operating in the United States and Canada, the need for personnel—from the production facility to the tasting room—has never been greater. Finding qualified candidates, however, has been hit-and-miss, as there’s been no coordinated forum for posting job openings.
That finally changed in June 2020 with the launch of CiderPros.com, the industry’s first comprehensive job site and marketplace. A collaborative effort between the American Cider Association, the Cider Institute of North America, and the consulting firm Fermentability, the site almost immediately filled with job postings from across the continent, ranging from the Pacific Northwest to Nova Scotia.
These three organizations are well-positioned partners for this sort of undertaking. As a national trade association, the American Cider Association has connections not only throughout North America, but within the global cider community as well. Its member companies come in all sizes, a fact well reflected in the openings posted on the site, and fostering a robust employment scene falls well within its mission of growing a diverse and successful cider industry. (The association has also created a professional certification program, Certified Cider Professionals, for beverage professionals on the service side, the people that interface between the producer and ultimate customer.)
The Cider Institute of North America (CINA) and Fermentability, founded by one of CINA’s instructors, work primarily with the production end of the industry. Founded in 2016, CINA offers a range of trainings and certifications in all aspects of cider production, growing the pool of talented people with cider-specific knowledge. Fermentability offers consultation services in various aspects of cider and wine production, and also helps with initial business planning and planning for expansion. “This resource will help businesses hire producers specifically certified in cider making, as well as provide a career pipeline for CINA graduates,” says Brighid O’Kean, CINA’s executive director, also giving those looking to work in cider on the non-technical side a centralized place to find that opportunity.
While starting as a jobs site and marketplace for anything cider-related—equipment, juice, cider fruit—the ultimate plan, according to the cider association’s executive director Michelle McGrath, is to expand the site to include a blog and other resources that can enhance a cider company’s human resources capabilities. “We want to offer ideas for choosing, training, and retaining great people,” says Ms. McGrath. “That’s just one way we can help to keep the cider industry flourishing.”
“I knew there had to be a better way to connect knowledgeable cider professionals to employers who would value their skills,” wrote Fermentability founder Brianna Valliere in a blog post announcing the launch of the site. “It’s been less than a month since CiderPros.com went live…We’re excited to see the diversity of work available and hope that this only continues to grow.”
There’s a lot of economic uncertainty in the world right now. Providing a platform where cider professionals can find employment opportunities from companies actively seeking candidates will certainly be a good thing for both—and it will support cider’s continued growth and potential.