WASHINGTON -- The food industry was out in force to bolster recruitment efforts among minority communities last week during the National Urban League conference here. Joining the Food Marketing Institute in its Supermarket Industry Pavilion at the conference were Ahold, USA, Chantilly, Va.; Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., and Wakefern Food Corp., Elizabeth, N.J.
The companies promoted supermarket industry careers to the conference's estimated 15,000 attendees. Each participating company occupied a separate booth with meeting areas, where company recruiters were present to discuss the various professional opportunities that now exist in food retailing.
"FMI is pleased to return to the National Urban League conference for the 10th straight year," said Jackson Davis, FMI's director of urban affairs and publications sales.
"This event provides exhibiting FMI member companies and our industry a chance to reach career-minded professionals and communities that we may not be reaching through conventional sources," Davis said.
"The National Urban League conference is an ideal forum for promoting professional opportunities in food retailing," said Henry Edwards, vice president, organizational effectiveness at Ahold USA. "We are thrilled to return with FMI to show the industry's support of diversity recruiting programs."
Brian Dowling, vice president of public affairs at Safeway, offered a similar assessment. "We are excited to be part of the National Urban League convention with FMI and other retailers.
"This event provides an ideal forum for promoting the great career opportunities available in the food retail industry."
Kyle Ledford, head of Wakefern's human resources division, noted that the company has been involved with the Urban League's efforts for a considerable time. "This is the third year Wakefern Food Corp./ShopRite Supermarkets has participated in the National Urban League conference," said Ledford. "We've enjoyed a successful partnership with the Urban Leagues of New Jersey and Philadelphia in addition to taking part in the National Conference."