According to the Brewer’s Association, Black people only make up 1% of beer brewers within the country. Now, the city of Baltimore is teaming up with Irish brewer Guinness to create a new program to bring more diversity to the beer industry.

Visit Baltimore announced its new Diversity Apprenticeship Program in partnership with the Guinness Open Gate Brewery to train the new crop of aspiring beer brewers. The program was created through the Guinness Gives Back Baltimore Fund to help run the program for the next five years to create new career pathways into hospitality for marginalized groups.

“Visit Baltimore is humbled by Guinness Open Gate Brewery’s investment in our Diversity Apprenticeship Program,” said Visit Baltimore President & CEO Al Hutchinson in a press statement sent to BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“Due to the financial impacts of COVID-19, we would not be able to reinvigorate this important program without Guinness’s generous support. The partnership will allow us to provide professional growth opportunities to local persons of color and individuals from communities that have historically been underrepresented in the travel and tourism industry. The program will offer unparalleled on-the-job experience working with a destination marketing organization and a global brand. We’re looking forward to officially kicking off this program in 2021.”  

The 600-hour paid apprenticeship will also guarantee employment for all graduating participants upon completing the program by Visit Baltimore or a partner organization through the Searchwide Global recruitment firm. The program is only for BIPOC applicants living in the Greater Baltimore area.

“Our team has spent months researching ways to do the most good with these funds, consulting local advisors and building a strategic framework to pay it forward, as both a neighbor and champion of change in the Baltimore region, delivering meaningful impact and sustainable support for the Black community,” said Jennifer Hudson, director at Diageo Beer Company, according to the Associated Press.

“Guinness has always been ‘made of more’ and, as the home of Guinness in America, genuine give back efforts are in our DNA. The Baltimore region has warmly welcomed our team since opening the Guinness Gates just two years ago, and we’re honored to support such worthy causes in the fight for equity.”

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