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Hershey Chocolate of Virginia to hold its fourth Manufacturing Boot Camp Aug. 3-14

Photo Credit: fotosipsak/iStock Photo

Hershey Chocolate of Virginia has announced its fourth Manufacturing Boot Camp, a two-week paid training that fast tracks job candidates to top-paying apprenticeships in entry manufacturing.

This custom boot camp is designed to prepare candidates with no previous experience for Hershey’s Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship program. Training is provided by Hershey experts and supported through a $4 million American Apprenticeship Initiative grant awarded by the U. S. Department of Labor to the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board.

The camp will be conducted in compliance with employer guidance for COVID-19 classrooms and workspaces. This innovative boot camp-to- apprenticeship program has been featured in the Virginia Business magazine, Virginia Economic Review, and the national HR Magazine of the Society for Human Resource Management.

The Hershey Boot Camp is geared for individuals who want to learn more about working in a food manufacturing career. Anyone with a high school diploma or GED is eligible to apply. Candidates selected to attend will be paid to participate in three days of off-site classroom instruction on manufacturing, safety, and regulatory requirements in a food manufacturing operation, what it means to be a registered apprentice, as well as soft skills like teamwork, problem solving, and managing personal finances, followed by hands-on training on the production site.

Boot Camp participants will gain in-depth understanding about the food manufacturing work environment and job expectations, and hear tips from former Boot Camp participants on how they achieved career success.

Boot Camp participants will be paid $11.95 per hour to attend the Boot Camp through System One staffing firm. Successful participants will be invited to continue working on second or third shift to build a performance track record and will have priority consideration for direct entry into Hershey’s manufacturing apprenticeship program at current wages of $21.19 per hour.

Applications will be accepted through July 13. To begin the application process:  TEXT “APPLY” to 540.435.7679 or visit

For more information about the program, contact Debby Hopkins, Chief Workforce Officer & Program Director at the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board at