Fresh Perspectives: A Fitting Opportunity

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Fresh Perspectives: A Fitting Opportunity

07/22/2010

As the food industry continues to compete for top talent in a still-tough economy where other career paths might seem far more fascinating and potentially more lucrative, hats off to the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) for its ongoing commitment to attract, develop and retain the next generation of new talent via the Foundation for Industry Talent (FIT).

Poised to play a prominent role in the Newark, Del.-based trade group’s upcoming 2010 Fresh Summit International Convention and Expo, slated for Oct. 15 through Oct. 18 in Orlando, Fla., PMA’s FIT will host an expanded Career Headquarters to facilitate networking and communication between current and prospective industry professionals. To be sure, Fresh Summit is a most “fitting” venue for a new talent networking hub, in light of the more than an expected 800 exhibitors from 25 countries and 592,000 square feet of expo space, all of which promise to make for a another lively must-see event for fresh food professionals.

Conveniently located near the entrance of the show floor outside of Hall D of the convention center, the FIT Career Headquarters will be open Saturday through Monday, providing attendees with a chance to receive an expert resume review, have a free professional photo taken, and access computers to tap into FIT’s career bank to review job posts and network. There will also be an opportunity for hiring companies to set up a booth in the PMA FIT Career Fair, as well as a young professionals’ networking reception for folks 35 and under.

As I ponder PMA’s admirable quest to seed the talent well with young blood, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recently launched a hilarious tongue-in-cheek rap video to tout the many “cool” careers in the “hot” HVAC&R field while imparting information about the industry’s diverse opportunities.

ASHRAE, by the way, comprises engineers who work “to advance technology to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world,” including, of course, many of the food industry’s most critical underpinnings, particularly the all-important cold chain.

Titled “License to Chill,” the hysterical rap video features a catchy soundtrack interspersed with interviews of young professional engineers highlighting the importance of the HVRAC&R industry alongside its diverse and rewarding career opportunities. The rap, a sample of lyrics to which appears below, further seeks to “drive home the message that our industry truly engineers the world we live in, and that young people don’t want to miss out on the chance to be a part of that.”

Here’s a little story
That needs to be told
’Bout A/C heating
It’s gonna be bold

We sit in our house
Just chillin’ all day
Not even thinkin’
Who made it that way

Well now you’ll know
Your homies will say
“Don’t play me like that.
What’s an ASHRAE?”

Mack daddy stuff
For heating and air
Plus save the ozone
In our atmosphere

We gotta license to chill
(Ain’t cool to be hot)
Gotta license to chill
(ASHRAE straight on top)

Although we keep you cool
CFC’s are never blown
Global warming in da house
But we help da ozone

We’re the kings of cool
Head honchos of heat
We’ll keep it runnin’ smooth
Ice chillin’ like this beat

The thingz we’re doing
It’s super fly
High risin’ techno
Straight outta sci-fi

Bringin’ ice to da desert
Heat to Tibet
Third-world ice dreamz
And a thermal heat jet

ASHRAE’s the bomb
We ace like Bjorn Borg
Just click on the link
ASHRAE dot org

Check it out for yourselves at: http://www.ashrae.org/students/page/951.