CIFT now has two industry-recognized credentials through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

Established as the CIFT Food Industry Certification, the program provides two recognized, food industry credentials that can verify high school student expertise in the areas of agriculture, food and natural resources, bioscience, food science and safety, bioresearch and food marketing and research.

“The demand for skilled workforce is a growing concern for food companies,” said Rebecca A. Singer, president and CEO, CIFT. “The CIFT student credentials provide a welcomed solution to this need, and we look forward to working with academic institutions as well as companies employing the participants in an effort to enhance the industry.”

To be eligible for the CIFT Food Industry Associate credential, a student must complete 120 hours of training combined with 100 hours of hands-on experience. For the CIFT Food Industry Specialist credential, a student must complete 480 hours of training and 500 hours of hands-on experience.

As these students enter the workforce, CIFT encourages companies to seek candidates who have acquired the credentials. There are more than 60,000 people working at nearly 1,000 food and beverage companies across Ohio. The industry ships more than $24 billion worth of products every year. The state consistently ranks among the highest output in the nation in dairy, fruits and vegetables, bakery, snacks, soft drinks, coffees, sauces, syrups and countless other food products. Such impressive facts make Ohio one of the nation’s leaders in food/beverage processing and agribusiness.

CIFT Food Industry Associate credential

  • 120 hours of training, and
  • 100 hours of experience

Students will need to complete the following
competencies within this course, along with a
passing test score via the WebXam:

  • Science & Technology of Food

Experiential Learning:

  • Student will plan, develop, and complete
    a placement, entrepreneurship, or research
    excellence program in the food industry.
    This could be a paid or unpaid role.
  • Student will document at least 100 hours
    in a journal with skills identified in
    relation to Ohio career field technical
    content standards utilizing a system that
    tracks competency achievement.

CIFT Food Industry Specialist credential

  • 480 hours of training, and
  • 500 hours of experience

Students will need to complete the following
competencies within this course, along with a passing
test score via the WebXam:

  • Science & Technology of Food

Students will need to complete the following
competencies within three of the following five courses:

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Principles & Practices of Bioscience
  • Application of Food Science & Safety
  • Bioresearch
  • Food Marketing & Research

Experiential Learning:

  • Student will plan, develop, and complete a
    placement, entrepreneurship, or research
    excellence program in the food industry. This
    could be a paid or unpaid role.
  • Student will document at least 500 hours in a
    journal with skills identified in relation to
    Ohio career field technical content standards
    utilizing a system that tracks competency
    achievement.

Following verification of the credential, a cover letter and electronic certificate will be emailed to students earning this distinguished achievement. As these students enter the workforce, CIFT will proactively encourage companies to seek candidates who have acquired the credentials, and will assist in promoting students to companies.

Questions relating to experience hours can be directed to Cathy Witte, food market and technology analyst, CIFT, at 419-535-6000, ext. 142 or cwitte@ciftinnovation.org.