|Are You A
Career Pathways Alumni?.
Helping to Attract University Students to the Produce Industry
Pack Family Career Pathways in conjunction with PMA’s Fresh SummitCareer Pathways Program in conjunction with PMA’s Foodservice ConferenceCareer Pathways Program in conjunction with the New England Produce Council (NEPC)Career Pathways Program in conjunction with the Fresh Produce & Floral Council (FPFC)Career Pathways Program in conjunction with Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)Career Pathways Program in conjunction with Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA)
Designed to attract the best and brightest students to begin a career in the fresh produce industry, the Career Pathways program connects the industry to future leaders by providing university students and faculty the opportunity to attend international, national and regional industry events. Students received one-on-one mentoring with leaders from our industry, customized education including an industry overview, career panel discussions, tours of area companies and the chance to network with industry professionals at workshops, social events and on the exposition floor.
Created in 2004 by Jay Pack and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), the original Pack Family Career Pathways program brought the first group of top students and faculty from universities across the country to PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition. The Pack Family Career Pathways program is supported by charitable contributions from the Jay and Ruth Pack Family Foundation and the PMA.
PMA Foundation Launches New Career Pathways Program with CPMA and FFVA in 2013!
In 2013, the PMA Foundation and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) will present a Career Pathways program at the CPMA Exposition in Toronto. In addition, the PMA Foundation will host a Career Pathways program with the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association conference held September 23-25, 2013 in Amelia Island, Florida.
Why Students Should Participate in a Career Pathways Program?
A Career Ambassador is assigned to each student to serve as an industry advisor, answer questions, introduce them to other industry professionals, and simply help them embrace the myriad of opportunities and rewards the produce industry has to offer.
Interactive Educational Workshops
Students attend customized workshops designed specifically for undergraduate students. Depending on the time available during the event workshop, topics could include:
- Industry Overview of the Produce Supply Chain – Industry leaders explain the produce supply chain and “how it all fits together”.
- Career Panel Workshop – A panel of industry leaders share their passion for the industry and insight on the rewards and challenges of a career in Produce.
- Tips of the Trade Workshop – A panel of industry Human Resource professionals speak to the current job market/hiring situation in the produce industry while sharing helpful networking, resume and interviewing tips.
- Young Professionals Session – Young professionals, those recently entering the industry, sit down with the students to answer questions and share their experiences, giving them a “glimpse from the inside”.
- Professional Etiquette Session – Industry leaders explain how to leave a great first impression.
During the programs, students are given time to walk the exposition floors and meet industry professionals. Student may also be invited to attend industry networking events.
Students are given pre-conference assignments to help them prepare for the event and add more value to the learning experience. Each year, participants are required to complete a group paper (one per school) on an industry specific topic that includes excerpts from student conducted interviews of industry professionals as well as a recap of the group’s experiences. Click here to view the student project guidelines.
Selection Process for Participating Universities.
In each of the four Career Pathways program, the schools are hand-selected for participation. From each school, 1-4 undergraduate students are selected by their Faculty to participate in the program. The student selection process varies with each school. This allows the PMA Foundation to not only maintain a manageable and successful experience each year, but to also create an intimate environment that fosters personal development and camaraderie.
Universities that are Helping to Attract New Talent to the Industry.
Pack Family Career Pathways Program
Held in conjunction with PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition
- Arizona State University
- Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
- Cornell University
- Michigan State University
- St. Joseph’s University
- Texas A&M
- UC Davis
- University of Florida
- Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Chile – Chile
- The University of Queensland – Australia
- University of Stellenbosch – South Africa
- University of Pretoria – South Africa
- University of Syndey – Australia
Regional Career Pathways Programs:
Career Pathways Program in conjunction with PMA’s Foodservice Conference & Exposition
- California State University, Fresno
- UC Davis
- Hartnell College
- California State University, Monterey Bay
Career Pathways Program in conjunction with New England Produce Council (NEPC)
- University of Connecticut
- University of Delaware
- University of Maine
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Career Pathways Program in conjunction with Fresh Produce & Floral Council (FPFC)
Career Pathways Program in conjunction with Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA)
Career Pathways Program in conjunction with Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA)
Career Pathways Students Choose our Industry!
Since inception, over 370 students have participated in the Career Pathways Program, 244 have graduated and 114 took their first job or internship in the produce industry.