The Fresh Produce & Floral Council (FPFC) has announced a new FPFC Apprentice Program designed to train and develop the next generation of leaders in the fresh produce and floral industry. The nine-month program, commencing in May of 2014 and concluding at the FPFC’s 2015 Dinner Dance, will include tours, seminars and panel discussions.
“Developing the next generation of industry leaders is a priority for the Board,” says Carissa Mace, president of the FPFC. “We’ve been discussing different avenues toward that goal and the Apprenticeship Program is what has evolved.”
In addition to education about and exposure to the complete supply chain, Apprentices will also learn about laws and regulations impacting the industry, and will be assigned projects to be completed between meetings, which Mace says will take place every 4-6 weeks.
“We also feel that exposure to the industry’s social networks is an important part of professional development,” says Mace. To that end, mentors will accompany Apprentices at FPFC’s networking events, to facilitate introductions, and Apprentices will also participate in service-related projects like Team Produce at City of Hope’s Walk for Hope.
The program was conceived, developed and is being implemented by a volunteer committee chaired by Andrew Bivens, Westlake Produce Company and Kelly Craner, B&C Fresh Sales. To qualify for the Apprentice program, applicants must have fewer than seven years’ experience in the industry and be currently employed by an FPFC member company.
Applications for the FPFC Apprentice Program will be accepted beginning in January 2014. Further information will be available on the program in the coming months.