Project Opportunity

Our commitment: Roll out Project Opportunity across all operations


By 2017 - Establish Nestlé as an employer of choice for veterans.

By 2017 - Increase the number of existing apprenticeships to 136 across 31 factories.

By 2017 - Hire 1,000 paid interns and trainees in manufacturing, supply chain, sales, finance, marketing, audit, IT, and human resources.

By 2017 - Enhance "readiness for work" activities (e.g., participation in job fairs, information sessions, résumé workshops, etc.) to reach 300,000 people annually and continue our efforts to hire military veterans across all of our U.S. operations.

Achieved in 2016:

2016 was a foundational year for Project Opportunity, our career acceleration program launched in 2015. The goal of Project Opportunity is to help people of all ages gain work experience and strengthen their skills in our industry. Since launch, Nestlé in the United States has delivered strong results toward our “Get Skilled” objective of hiring 1,000 interns, trainees, and apprentices. As part of those 1,000, we aimed to establish 136 apprenticeships in our U.S. factories by 2017.

To date, we have brought on nearly 1,400 individuals for internships, trainee and development programs, and apprenticeships through Project Opportunity. By the end of 2016, we established 35 new apprenticeships across our U.S. factories, bringing our total to more than 65 apprentices who have received structured, on-the-job training and time spent in technical school classes, exceeding our 2017 goal one year ahead of schedule.

Also in September 2016, Nestlé Waters North America announced that it joined with the State of Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) in its effort to increase federal grants for apprenticeships in the state. Maine is home to three bottling facilities for Poland Springs—the number-one selling spring water brand in the country—employing 850 state residents. As part of the initiative, Nestlé Waters has included its apprenticeship program with MDOL’s application for grant funding under the U.S. Department of Labor’s new Apprenticeship USA program, which is helping states to expand and diversify apprenticeships to better respond to industry workforce demands. Nestlé Waters has committed to placing 10% of its mechanic hires into its apprenticeship program by 2022; they will become eligible to earn a national Manufacturing Mechanic Certification recognized in every state.

In 2016, Nestlé Waters also established its first registered apprenticeship at its Madison, Florida, factory, a bottler and producer of our Zephyrhills, Deer Park, and Nestlé Pure Life bottled waters.

Through our PACE (Pet Advocates and Career Exploration) program in St. Louis, Nestlé Purina engaged three employment partners—St. Louis Youth Jobs, Kingdom House, and Ferguson Youth Initiative—to sponsor 18 students at pet-related job sites for eight weeks during the summer and enhance job-readiness skills.

Military Veterans

Currently, Nestlé in the United States employs more than 2,400 veterans across our various operating companies. Additionally, we’re increasing our emphasis on recruitment of military veterans, and we remain focused on matching veterans to jobs that utilize their specialized training and skill sets. In 2016, we established partnerships with Hiring our Heroes and The Mission Continues, nationwide initiatives that help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.