Don't know if anyone has attended Niagara but sounds like a brewing career is more in who you know than what piece of paper you have on your wall. Thoughts?
That's the way it is in every field. Except perhaps high turn over common labor jobs (and even those are becoming slim pickings now-a-days).
Two questions I ask when I hire someone:
1.) Do they have the knowledge and ambition to do the work?
2.) Are they going to do what I ask of them without questioning/complaining?
Both of the above attributes usually end up fading over time and the person moves on. Sometimes they leave in a professional fashion and sometime not...
Hiring is mostly arbitrary. Even if you know someone, it's still arbitrary.
Be careful about volunteering to be a slave. That's not a good position to put yourself in.
If you're going to work for someone, make sure they pay you a fair days wage. A living wage. (Not very common in today's work environment.)
Finally, be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it.