PALM DESERT, Calif. — The Western Association of Food Chains has been sponsoring the Food Industry Marketing program at the University of Southern California for 50 years — a milestone marked yesterday at the association’s annual convention here. As part of the USC program, suppliers provide scholarship funds to pay for retail employees to attend classes to improve their skills. “Retailers and suppliers compete fiercely, but we always are together for education,” said Jim Lee, president and chief operating officer, Stater Bros., and president, WAFC. Karl Schroeder, president of the Northern California division of Safeway, and WAFC education chairman, said FIM students “are returned to their companies as more productive employees.” Both Lee and Schroeder are graduates of the program.
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