FMI Lauds Lunds and Wegmans for Training and HR Success

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) presented the 2007 Maximizing People Potential Award (MAXX Award) to Lund Food Holdings and Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. this week during the FMI Human Resources/Training and Development Conference. The award recognizes superior training and human resource programs.

Edina, Minn.-based Lund earned the award in the smaller company category (up to 4,000 employees) for an orientation program that reduced turnover among new employees from 56 percent to 39 percent in its first year. Lunds' program includes:
-- A consistent orientation about the company's history, vision, mission, values, and brand, including what it means to be a brand champion.
-- A high-energy, articulate, and experienced store supervisor to conduct the training.
-- Inspirational words about the company culture and reputation from chairman and c.e.o. Tres Lund.
--A sampling of the retailer's signature food products and private label offerings.

Rochester, N.Y-based Wegmans shone in the larger company category (4,001 or more employees) for its Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (WSC) Program. In this initiative:
-- Junior high school students are assigned a youth advocate, who guides and nurtures their progress.
-- They may apply for a job once they are old enough to work, meet minimum attendance criteria, and complete youth employment training.
-- The advocate mentors the students at school and work.
-- Students that complete high school can receive company-funded scholarships.

WSC students stay with Wegmans twice as long as their counterparts, according to the company. They have minimal dropout rates, and often go on to college. Since Wegmans founded the program in 1987, it has received extensive state and national recognition.

Other finalists for the 2007 MAXX Award were:
-- Buzzuto's, Cheshire, Conn., for its Distribution Center Training Program, which reduced turnover and improved morale and performance.
-- Supervalu, for the Critical Activities Management process, which improved workplace safety. This program received the Principles of Behavior-Based Safety accreditation from the prestigious Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.

Award submissions were judged on four categories: 1) impact on workplace learning and performance, 2) return on investment, 3) involvement of company leaders and 4) originality. The finalists were selected by attendees at the 2007 FMI Human Resources/Training and Development Conference.
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