Keasbey, NJ (PRWEB) April 25, 2013
Wakefern yesterday donated a record $1 million to The Academy of Food Marketing at St. Joseph’s University – the largest ever gift to the food business school based in Philadelphia.
The donation, which was made at Wakefern headquarters in Keasbey, NJ, will help fund educational programs and scholarships and defray costs for many of the 540 undergraduates in the Academy of Food Marketing.
One of the country’s premiere food marketing schools, the Academy is one of just four such undergraduate programs nationwide and it is part of the larger business college at St. Joseph’s University. Graduates pursue careers in market research, food service, wholesale and retail, and with some of largest consumer product manufacturers. It's also the only school in the country to offer a master’s degree in Food Marketing.
Robert Higgins, executive director of The Academy of Food Marketing, said the donation is a boon to the business school and comes at a time when more graduates are interested in working in retail.
The Academy of Food Marketing placed 94 percent of graduates into jobs within six months of graduation last year, and the number of graduates opting for jobs in the retail sector climbed to 25 percent – the highest amount ever. A total of 88 companies also recruited Food Marketing majors on campus last year.
“More young people are seeing the benefits of working in retail, which is changing rapidly and where the breadth of careers and experiences is growing. Salaries are rising and there is more prestige and more room for advancement and long-term careers,” said Higgins. “This donation from Wakefern will go a long way in helping us bring great young candidates into our program and the industry.”
That's good news for Wakefern, which often recruits interns and associates from The Academy of Food Marketing. Other associates and executives have also received degrees through the University. Students get core liberal arts classes along with marketing courses focused on food. They learn, for example, how the industry uses scan data to make decisions about what consumers want and what products to sell.
“There are many great careers in the supermarket business, and those jobs are not just in the retail stores. There are opportunities in sales, law, marketing, purchasing and more,” said Wakefern Chairman and CEO Joseph Colalillo. “We need leaders in the industry and we think an important way to grow the industry and develop future leaders is through programs like The Academy of Food Marketing.”
Wakefern, which raised the $1 million through its ShopRite stores and partner vendors, set the ambitious $1 million goal after raising $850,000 in 2008 and $750,000 in 2003 for the school.
“It’s a fantastic amount and it speaks to the priority Wakefern and its vendor partners put on education and leadership in the industry,” said Joe Sheridan, Wakefern President and COO.
About Wakefern Food Corp.
From a small, struggling cooperative with eight members – all owners of their own grocery stores – Wakefern Food Corp. has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Founded in 1946, the cooperative is comprised of 48 members who today individually own and operate nearly 250 supermarkets under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. In 1996, Wakefern introduced PriceRite stores, extending the company’s reach into Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Today, there are 51 PriceRite stores in six states. As the merchandising and distribution arm of both ShopRite and PriceRite, Wakefern, together with its member companies, employ more than 50,000 people; making it one of the largest employers in New Jersey. In addition, Wakefern also distributes products to other supermarkets throughout the northeastern United States and Bermuda. Wakefern was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in NJ by NJBIZ Magazine. In 2011, Supermarket News gave Wakefern its Retail Excellence Award and The Griffin Report named Wakefern its Retailer of the Year. For more information, please visit http://www.Wakefern.com