PDX Vendorship Program

A summer, work-based business school for Portland high school students

The PDX Vendorship Program will return in the summer of 2020 

2018 Program Impact

  • 13 students from 8 local high schools complete the inaugural program

  • 100% of vendors said they would be willing to participate again

  • 100% of vendors said they would be willing to serve a reference for their student

  • Vendors gave the program a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 9

  • Students gave the program a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 8.4

PDX Vendorships will launch in June 2018 in partnership with the Moreland Farmers Market with an eight week educational work program for roughly 15 high school students from throughout the Portland Metro area. The Moreland Farmers Market takes place at 6894 SE 14th Ave, Portland, OR 97202. 

Students will gain valuable work experiences and skills, while supporting vendors during one full market (Wednesdays) a week. High School students will undergo a competitive application process to be matched with a vendor. In addition, students will take part in weekly night classes that feature expert presenters and will help students develop their communication, marketing, accounting, management, analytic and sales skills in order to apply these skills to projects for their vendor.

We value being an inclusive and diverse program. In order to make sure all students can participate in this transformative learning, work and leadership experience, this program is free to students and snacks during the markets will be covered. 

Signature Sponsor


Become a Sponsor

We're looking for individual contributors as well as title sponsors to make this program free to students and sustainable in the future. Contribute today. Thank you for your generous support.  


Portland Farmers Markets are national models for connecting urban residents to farmers and artisanal food producers. Expansive offerings for consumers, support for vendors, and variety of programs for visitors not only create vibrant community spaces, they catalyze economic growth regionally.

Portland Farmers Markets are also untapped educational resources for work-based learning in our community. Educator and PDX Vendorship Program director, Meredith Goddard, has seen the transformative power of farmers markets first-hand. She has had several former students line up jobs with vendors at the PSU Farmers Market. Not only did these students learn the basic soft skills associated with employment: to show up on time, do more than is expected, pitch in during set-up and clean-up, put the customer first, be a team-player, they also gained a tremendous amount of confidence in their abilities to talk with just about anyone and engage in sales. They were provided inside access into the inner workings of a small business and had the opportunity to wear many hats for the vendors they worked with. Meredith sees PDX Vendorships as a launching pad for forays into many possible career paths, including, but not limited to business, sales, communication, marketing, entrepreneurship, farming, culinary arts, and nonprofit work.  

Night Classes: Mondays, June 18 - July 30, 2018

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the inner workings of a farmers market

  • Develop the essential (soft) skills sought after by employers

  • Engage consumers through effective sales techniques

  • Cultivate resilience through interactions with customers

  • Compare best practices in academic writing with best practices in business communication

  • Create effective social media posts for small business

  • Analyze the most important financial metrics for small business

  • Develop a mentoring relationship with someone at the market

  • Create a strategy to take a product from the market to the grocery store shelf

  • Solve problems creatively and efficiently

  • Connect with successful entrepreneurs in the food industry

  • Collaborate with peers, market leaders, and businesses to effectively run a weekly farmers market

  • Chart the supply chain of your vendor and be able to recommend logistical or operational improvements for this small business (option/bonus: visit your vendor on site)

  • Seek a recommendation or reference for future employment from a business, market, or program leader

Student Expectations

  • Be on time

  • Be kind

  • Care about every customer

  • Listen to your vendor

  • Be proactive and show initiative

  • Communicate - early & often

  • Build relationships and community

  • Be prepared - water, appropriate clothing, snacks

  • Limit cell phone use

Class Schedule

June 4, 2018 Orientation & Farmers Market 101
Guest speakers: Kristen Eberlin, Allison Lugo Knapp (Board members at the Moreland Farmers Market)

June 18, 2018 Marketing, Branding & Communications

Guest speakers: Emily Triggs - Social Media, PR, Marketing and Branding consultant in the food industry  www.emilyctriggs.com ) & Jennifer Bryman- President at HEART Creative Culinary Agency http://www.heartcreativeculinaryagency.com/

June 25, 2018 Sales Techniques, Sales & Communications Practice

Guest speakers:

Bill Etheridge (LinkedIn) - Sales, Founder WCE Consulting & Jordan Culberson of Broussard Communications

July 2, 2018 Accounting and Behind the Scenes Tour at Sellwood New Seasons

Guest speakers: Laura Bueermann- Principal ELJ Management & Linda Miller - New Seasons

July 9, 2018 TBD

July 16, 2018 Entrepreneurship Success Story & How to get your Product on the Shelf Operations, Pricing Strategies

Guest speaker: Betsy Walton - Founder, Dukers Dills, Food Innovation Instructor at PCC & Meredith Goddard - Vendorships Director & Founder, Five Years In

July 23, 2018 Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Guest speaker: Tyler Pachette - COO at Wildfang

July 30, 2018 Success Stories & Celebration
Guest speaker: Christy Goldsby -Founder, Honey Mama's & Lisa Herlinger - Founder, Ruby Jewel