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Advanced 'indoor salad farm' announces job fair

BrightFarms, which is gearing up to open the largest and most technologically advanced indoor salad farm in the Southeast in April, is holding a job fair to hire 55 employees Friday, Monday and Tuesday at Blue Ridge Community College.

The facility on the French Broad River in the Pleasant Grove community will produce more than 2 million pounds of the "freshest, tastiest and most responsibly grown leafy greens each year for supermarkets throughout the Carolinas," the company says. The greens will show up on supermarket shelves as popular packaged salads like Spring Mix, Arugula, Spinach and unique BrightFarms varieties like Sunny Crunch. All will be branded as “Grown in Hendersonville, NC” on the front label.

The company is planning to hire more than 55 green-collar workers from the region. Employees will be trained to operate cutting-edge greenhouse technology, and as more U.S. agricultural production moves into greenhouses, these jobs will provide workers with a valuable skillset to compete for jobs in the food sector.

Jobs include:

  • Seeding & Transplant Crew: Bringing the greens to life in the first phase of the operation.
  • Harvest Crew: Harvesting the greens and getting them ready for packaging.
  • Packaging Crew: Packing the greens and getting them ready to be shipped to supermarkets.
  • Drivers: Delivering our products to customers.
  • Management: Supervisors to manage key components of the operation.
  • Administrative assistants: Tasks that span the entire operation, such as: human resources & payroll, vendor management and customer billing.

The job fair will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 12, 15 and 16 at the N.C. Works Career Center, David W. Sinks Building, 130 Eagle Reach Drive, Flat Rock. To set up an appointment, email

The general manager of the greenhouse operation is relocating from Virginia and the grower is moving to the area from Ohio.

"Other than those two, everybody else we hire is going to be local," said Matt Grant, a senior communications manager for BrightFarms. Most jobs start at $13 an hour and come with "pretty competitive and pretty awesome benefits" that include a "gold rated health plan" for less than $10 a month, up to 4 percent match of a 401k plan, a $700 contribution to a health savings account, free life insurance and free short-term and long-term disability insurance. Workers will gain marketable skills, Grant added, in advanced greenhouse technology.

"These are high tech green-collar jobs," he said. "We're going to train them to operate technology and machinery they've never been exposed to."

BrightFarms will become the second major grower of produce under roof to start shipping in the span of less than a year. Lakeside Produce last year began shipping tomatoes and mini-cucumbers from its new 15-acre greenhouse on Ladson Road in Mills River. The company plans to triple the glass under roof to 45 acres and eventually employ 300 workers for a total investment of $100 million.

The farms growing salad ingredients under roof were recruited by AgHC, which touts Henderson County’s plentiful sunlight hours, lower humidity and proximity to large population centers to grow fresh vegetables year-round.