Ground Up PDX provides job training to empower women

Ground Up PDX provides job training to empower women

Name: Julie Sullivan
Company: Ground Up PDX
Job: Co-founder

What She Did: Julie Sullivan (right) realized there was a gap in Portland’s market after returning from Uganda, where she worked in a job skills training program for underserved women. That led her to co-founding Ground Up PDX with her friend Carolyn Cesario (left) in 2016. 

Ground Up is a “not-just-for-profit” business that provides job training to women overcoming adversity in the Portland area. During the six to nine month job training program, women are empowered with the confidence and skills they need to get back on their feet through the sale of healthy and delicious nut butters. Ground Up also partners with local businesses like New Seasons Market to offer women jobs after completing the program.

Why It's Important: "Before joining the Ground Up team, I had lost all of my confidence,” said Tiff, an employee at Ground Up PDX. “Julie and Carolyn work with you, not against you, and love answering any questions. I now have that confidence back in my life. Not just with my job, but with my whole life. I will be forever grateful for them."

“Tiff is working with us in the kitchen and just got a job at the New Seasons Central Kitchen,” said Julie. “We are super excited for her! That's the hope and dream. For women to be able to gain skills and confidence with us, and then find sustainable full-time employment, if that's the right path for them. Success looks different for each woman who joins our team, and we aim to meet each woman where they are at and the goals they are working towards.” 

You can find Ground Up products in Whole Foods and New Seasons in Oregon and Washington, or you can order online. Learn more about Ground Up PDX at

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