Helping to Attract University Students to the Produce and Floral Industry
These programs are designed to attract the best and brightest students to begin a career in the fresh produce and floral industry. Students are paired with industry mentors, participate in customized education sessions and are fully integrated into international, national and regional events.
Listing of our Career Pathways Programs
Career Pathways at CPMA Convention & Trade Show
April 12-14, 2016 | Calgary, Canada
Career Pathways at PMA Tech Knowledge
May 16-19, 2016 | Santa Clara, California USA
- California State University, Monterey Bay
- University of Arizona
- San Jose State University
- University of North Carolina, Charlotte
May 17-19, 2016 | Brisbane, Australia
Career Pathways at FPFC Southern California Expo
July 17-19, 2016 | Anaheim, California USA
Career Pathways at PMA Fresh Connections Floral
July 13 – 14, 2016 | Miami, Florida USA
- University of Georgia
- North Carolina State
- University of Florida
Career Pathways at PMA Foodservice Conference
July 29 – 31, 2016 | Monterey, California USA
Career Pathways at NEPC Annual Produce and Floral Expo
September 20 – 22, 2016 | Brewster, Massachusetts USA
Career Pathways at FFVA Convention
September 28 – 30, 2016 | Naples, Florida USA
Pack Family Career Pathways at PMA Fresh Summit
October 12-16, 2016 | Orlando, Georgia USA
- Arizona State University
- Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
- Cornell University
- Louisiana State University
- Michigan State University
- St. Joseph’s University
- Texas A&M
- University of Florida
- Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Chile — Chile
- University of Queensland — Australia
- University of Stellenbosch — South Africa
- University of Pretoria — South Africa
- University of Syndey — Australia
Learn more about our Career Pathways Programs
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 the PMA 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.
A Career Ambassador is assigned to each student to serve as an industry adviser, 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 and Floral Supply Chain – Industry leaders explain the produce and floral supply chain and “how it all fits together”.
- Career Panel Workshop – A panel of industry leaders share their passion and insight on the rewards and challenges of a career in our industry.
- Industry Tours – Participants get to see firsthand the day to day happenings of our businesses.
- 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”.
During the programs, students are given time to walk the exposition floors and meet industry professionals. Students may also be invited to attend networking events.
Students are given assignments prior to the start of the programs to help prepare them for the event and add more value to the entire learning experience.
Thank you 2015 sponsors!
A Special Thank You to the Jay and Ruth Pack Family Foundation for providing opportunities for university students and faculty members to attend this year’s Fresh Summit.
California Avocado Commission
San Miguel Produce, Inc.
West Pak Avocado, Inc.
Looking to fill an internship or entry level position?
Then visit our Career Pathways Student Directory. You can use this directory to locate bright young talent that has participated in our Career Pathways program.
If you are looking for a student you met at a recent trade show and can not locate in our student directory please contact Alicia Calhoun at +1 (302) 607-2157 or acalhoun@GrowingTalentbypma.org.
Please Select a Program and Year to Search the Directory:
In their words, what Career Pathways means to them.
Read how our contributors are making a difference one university student at a time.
“Career Pathways was an amazing experience and introduction into the produce industry — something that cannot be taught in the classroom.”
Kailey Burke, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2014 NEPC Career Pathways Participant
“This was an amazing opportunity to meet industry professionals and really great overview of the produce industry. I could really feel the passion from all of the individuals I spoke with.”
Jessyca Berbos, Cal Poly, Pomona, 2014 FPFC Career Pathways Participant
“There is a place for all kinds of professionals in the produce industry. The drive and passion that industry professionals show is infectious.”
Taylor Granger, Louisiana State University, 2014 Pack Family Career Pathways Participant
Read how our Career Ambassadors feel about volunteering their time.
“I appreciate the opportunity to interact with young people and showcase the produce and floral industry, an industry I’m very proud of. “
Doug Stewart – Giorgio Mushrooms, 2014 NEPC Career Pathways Participant
“For me it was reflection of my own career path and a time to focus/evaluate on where I’m headed with my goals and ambitions.”
Chuck Sardo – Ventura Foods, Pack
“Personally it is very energizing to spend time with the students. Our goal is to also find good candidates and hire them as well.”
Rich Dachman – Sysco, Pack
“It has been such a fulfilling program for me as a mentor. It reminds me of how I got started and had great leaders guide me in the right direction. It reminds me of all the pieces of the produce puzzle and how important it is to always be respectful to all areas of the industry. It reminds me that it is all the wonderful PEOPLE of the industry that make this one so great!”
Paul Kneeland – Kings Food Markets, Pack