Program to upskill agribusiness workers celebrates first graduates

Cris Collingwood//June 22, 2022

Program to upskill agribusiness workers celebrates first graduates

Cris Collingwood//June 22, 2022

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier speakes to graduates of program to upscale agribusiness workers – PHOTO/PROVIDED

The GIANT Co. and Bake Crafters today celebrated the first group of employees who completed a program to upskill agribusiness workers. 

 Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier took part in the celebration at the GIANT Food Store, 2300 Linglestown Road. 

Twenty employees including floor managers, bakery managers, front-end managers, human resources generalists and warehouse directors, completed the program which is supported by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Foundation and a recent $250,000 Industry Partnership Grant from L&I. 

The program is a partnership of The GIANT Company, Bake Crafters, PASSHE Foundation, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Shippensburg University, HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and SCPa Works, the South Central Workforce Investment Board. 

Each participant learned valuable skills that are necessary to sustainable and growth-driven business practices such as increasing sales and asset protection; forecasting and increasing supply efficiencies; as well as practical techniques to become stronger and more inclusive leaders, Berrier said. 

“The knowledge that these 20 individuals gained through this experience will serve them for the rest of their careers,” she said.  

The Industry Partnership funding by L&I will be used to expand the partnership to include additional employers; offer the leadership program opportunity to additional employees, including dislocated workers; recruit new employees, particularly from underserved populations, into the agribusiness industry; and incorporate key career-readiness activities to further fuel participants’ socioeconomic mobility and career growth. 

“At The GIANT Company, one of our team promises is to help our team members grow through new opportunities, and the certification program helps us deliver on that promise by providing a unique opportunity for our team members to build and grow their skillset,” said Jennifer Heinzen Krueger, vice president of team experience, The GIANT Company.  

“The retail grocery industry is ever-changing, and the skills our team members have developed through this course will undoubtedly serve them, our company, and the commonwealth,” Heinzen said. 

A second group of 20 to 30 students will begin the program later this summer. The partnership is seeking other employers to join.