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NJFC Awarded Training Grant; Leadership Class Visits Congressmen

NJFC training grant
NJFC President Linda Doherty (left) led the class to visit Congressman Tom MacArthur.

The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), in collaboration with Rutgers University, has been awarded more than $185,000 to support Food Safety and Management Leadership series training programs.

The grant, funded by the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will pay for one year of training—ending on April 1, 2019—in food safety, health emergency response and gas station operating systems.

Funds are available to train NJFC member food workers in proper food handling, health and safety practices, including certifications for national food safety courses. This award upgrades the skills, qualifications and employability of New Jersey’s food industry workforce.

“The success of this training program has been outstanding, and this is evident by the annual renewal of the grant for over a decade,” said Linda Doherty, president of the NJFC, noting that association members have benefited from more than $3.3 million in grant awards, helping members train more than 27,000 associates since the program’s inception in 2002.

“This program is an example of why we have a strong and active membership,” she said. “Our partnership with Rutgers University is paramount as they do a tremendous job of recognizing the increasing demand for training programs designed to better prepare our workforce for the changing marketplace.”

This year’s program will include training topics such as following proper food safety protocol, first aid CPR/AED training and underground storage tank training for fuel stations. This grant enables members to continue expanding and cultivating the skills of their workforce and develop the leadership skills for associates who ultimately will contribute to an organization’s long-term prosperity.

Recently, members of the latest NJFC Leadership Development Class hopped on a train to Washington, D.C., for their fourth session. The trip allowed class members to meet with members of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill and introduce themselves to staff of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and National Grocers Association (NGA).

“The trip is designed to educate these future leaders on the importance of our federal partners and need for strong relationships with New Jersey Congressional leaders,” said Doherty.

During their trip, Leadership Development Class members met with Congressmen Tom MacArthur and Don Norcross (D-1) and heard a presentation from House Appropriations Chairman Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen’s office. The congressmen shared their views on leadership, their backgrounds and discussed the importance of building relationships with elected leaders.

Students also met with Greg Ferrara, NGA EVP of advocacy, public relations and member services, and FMI Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher to discuss association management engagement and the importance of serving as a voice for the food industry.

An event highlight was a private special-access tour of the U.S. Capitol Building from Kelly Johnson, NJFC Executive Board member and former secretary of the U.S. Senate who serves as VP of government affairs for Campbell Soup Co.

Before that, the group had participated in a NJFC Board of Directors meeting and met Richard Saker, CEO of Saker ShopRites and NJFC chairman of the board. The group also traveled to Trenton for a similar crash course in state government back in March.

The NJFC represents 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in New Jersey.

About the author

Mike Berger

A veteran 20-year editor of The Griffin Report who often tours various supermarkets to check out the latest trends. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys sports, his family and young, energetic grandchild.

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