NKG Pace is back for a second year of coffee QC training. A joint venture between the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE) and the US branch of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe—including green coffee traders InterAmerican and Atlas ImportersNKG Pace is a paid year-long, hands-on QC training program offered to Black coffee professionals in order to foster greater diversity within the US coffee industry. And they are accepting applications now.

Like in the previous year, for the 2023-2024 cycle will offer paid full-time, entry-level positions to three individuals. Once selected these individuals, referred to as Partners, will be placed at a location of one of NKG’s American companies: with InterAmerican in Hoboken or San Diego or with Atlas in Seattle. During that time, those selected with undergo a curriculum that includes “a blend of daily lab work assisting QC managers, collaborative online learning, and independent study projects, as well as foundational training in customer service and logistics,” per the website. “They’ll also build relationships with CCRE-selected mentors, who will encourage the Partners’ progress, success, and post-program opportunities.” Partners will learn how to manage a QC lab, cup and grade coffees, share and receive samples, analyze green coffee, and maintain an inventory system.

advert but first coffee cookbook now available


Learn more about the 2022-2023 NKG Pace cohort.

Then, once the year is up, NKG Pace will help program graduates find employment in the coffee industry “commensurate with their acquired expertise and professional aspirations.” The program is “precompetitive”, meaning that it is not meant to source talent specifically for NKG companies—though NKG may in fact offer them jobs as they are available—and they “warmly encourage” graduates to pursue all available opportunities.

To be considered for the NKG Pace program, an initial application must be submitted by December 1st via the NKG Pace website. From there, 10 semi-finalists will be selected for an interview. Six of those will then be mailed a sensory kit in order to perform a sensory evaluation, which will be used to help pick the three individuals to be offered admission into the program. Moving and travel assistance is offered to those selected.

For more information or to submit your application, visit the NKG Pace official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.