Get Ready to Grow

Your employees and business can benefit through PMA Foundation programs.

When looking to cut corners, businesses often view training as an expense rather than an investment. Other companies find themselves too busy for worker training, don’t have the necessary training expertise on staff or do nothing because outsourced training is often irrelevant to the business of produce and floral. Employee development, if any, is often reactionary and fragmented, making it largely ineffective as a result.

Yet research proves that the more companies invest in training their people, the greater likelihood they’ll retain strong work forces. Talented people are our most valuable asset and our competitive advantage. Well-trained, talented people have better ideas, execute those ideas better and even develop other people better.

Realizing that something needed to be done about the difficulty of recruiting and retaining good people and the lack of awareness of produce and floral as career options, Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) board of directors approved in 2004 the creation of an independent, charitable organization dedicated to identifying and addressing the industry’s talent challenges.

PMA Foundation has since become well positioned to help companies prepare strong work forces to grow business, stay competitive and ensure continued leadership. Its efforts focus on sustaining future produce and floral business by attracting young professionals to the industry, helping professionals currently working in the industry to develop leadership skills to advance their careers, and helping companies establish and implement retention strategies to maintain their work forces.

Regardless of where your company is along the global supply chain, or whether you’re responsible for your company’s talent management or just taking charge of your own career, PMA Foundation offers a “career continuum” of programs and networking events supporting every stage of a produce career:

Entrance Into the Industry: The “Career Pathways” programs and university outreach target college students. Further connecting companies to talent is a new partnership with

Continuing Education and Networking: The Young Professionals Network, which includes the Emerging Leaders Program, Young Professionals Webinars and the Young Professionals Reception, develops industry professionals under 35.

Midcareer Advancement: The “Women’s Fresh Perspectives” suite of programs and, coming this December, a High Performance Management Conference are geared toward developing fundamental leadership, strategic execution and financial management skills for midcareer professionals.

Executive Enhancement: The “Leadership Symposium” program gives senior executives skills to enhance their leadership impact and address today’s strategic business challenges.

The supply chain representation found in attendance at PMA Foundation programs offers a diverse exchange of ideas that can’t be replicated through on-the-job or in-house training; it also delivers access to important contacts and relevant information that can profoundly grow careers and business.

PMA’s annual contribution of more than $300,000 and its in-kind donation of PMA staff time assist PMA Foundation with administrative costs, marketing, program development, public relations, human resources, business development and finance. This frees the foundation to devote the industry’s charitable donations to its mission to attract, develop and retain talent for the global produce industry. Still, more is always needed.

To donate, volunteer and learn more about what PMA Foundation programs best serve your training needs, visit

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