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    Safeway Wins FMI HR Award; Launches Breast Cancer Campaign

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc.'s "Retail Management Training Track" won the Food Marketing Institute's (FMI) Maximizing People Potential (Maxx) Award, which recognizes an exceptional human resources or training program that significantly enhances employee performance or leads to accomplishment of a key business goal.

    PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc.'s "Retail Management Training Track" won the Food Marketing Institute's (FMI) Maximizing People Potential (Maxx) Award, which recognizes an exceptional human resources or training program that significantly enhances employee performance or leads to accomplishment of a key business goal.

    "The Maxx Award finalists enriched employee performance by creating innovative programs designed to encourage success," said Kimberly Roberts, FMI's senior manager of education programs. "FMI commends these companies for their commitment to workplace learning and growth."

    Safeway's Retail Management Training Track encompasses comprehensive training for the three retail management positions preceding store manager: department manager, person-in-charge and assistant manager. Each contains multiple modules and methods of learning to prepare associates for these positions:

    Department Manager: Safeway's newest program contains six modules that include analyzing the department, supervisory skills, supervising for superior service, safety and sanitation, merchandising, and department administration.

    Person-in-Charge: Seven modules incorporate developing supervisory skills, meeting sales objectives, managing store assets and shrink, supervising for superior service, opening procedures, and supervising at night.

    Assistant Manager: Seventy modules fall under major categories of management skills, store operations and store administration.

    "Safeway is committed to our goal of providing advancement opportunities for our employees. We accomplish this important goal by providing experience, mentoring and training, of which our Retail Management Training Track is a critical part of our overall training initiative," said Dick Gonzales, s.v.p. of human resources, Safeway Inc.

    Industry professionals at FMI's Human Resources/Training & Development Conference chose Safeway's management program after viewing presentations from the company and two other award finalists: Cub Foods and Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, Inc.

    Cub Foods developed an initiative to provide management with the tools and skills needed to clearly communicate and manage performance expectations in a way that will have a positive impact on associates.

    English as a Second Language Training -- Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, Inc. developed a program that utilizes The Rosetta Stone's Dynamic Immersion program, which is computer training that teaches students to speak, write and understand a new language at an accelerated pace.

    The three finalists were chosen based on three criteria: 1) impact on workplace learning and performance, 2) return on investment, and 3) minimal use of outside products. Previous award winners include Raley's in 2004, Hy-Vee, Inc. in 2003, and Big Y Foods, Inc. in 2002.

    Safeway yesterday also launched its 2005 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign with a goal of raising $5.5 million in October for a range of breast cancer research and treatment programs in its operating areas. In the last four years Safeway and the Safeway Foundation have raised more than $11 million for breast cancer charities.

    During October, Safeway customers will be given an opportunity to donate by purchasing a paper pink ribbon, the symbol of breast cancer awareness, located at every checkstand in all stores. In addition to a range of other store fundraising activities, including contests and special product sales, customers will be given the opportunity to purchase pink wrist bands that feature the pink ribbon and the words "Strength-Hope-Courage."

    "Raising breast cancer funds and awareness has become an important October tradition at our company," said Larree Renda, Safeway e.v.p. and chairwoman of the board of the Safeway Foundation. "The disease is a major health threat to women, and we've made a significant commitment to raising funds for programs focused on finding a cure and raising awareness. Breast cancer affects so many of our customers, employees and their families, and the urgent call for a cure is so compelling."

    The company also announced that singer and breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge has joined Safeway in its 2005 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. The Grammy winner's new CD, "Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled," will be sold in all Safeway stores in the United States. The CD contains four new songs, including "I Run for Life," Etheridge's anthem for women whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer. Proceeds of the CD sold in Safeway stores will benefit the breast cancer programs supported by Safeway and the Safeway Foundation.

    Along with the in-store activities, Safeway will be involved with community events throughout the country.

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