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SALISBURY, N.C. - Supermarket chain Food Lion, a subsidiary of Delhaize America, has developed a management training program aimed at new graduates of historically African-American colleges and universities. Food Lion announced the start of the program on Thursday on the campus of Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.
The idea for the Food Lion "Retail Management Trainee Program" grew out of the company's decade-long relationship with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Since 1993, Food Lion has supported the CIAA and its member institutions.
"Food Lion's partnership with the CIAA has given the company unique opportunities to support historically African-American colleges and universities in our operating area," said Natalie Taylor, Food Lion's VP of diversity. "We are excited about the new opportunities this training program will offer the students and the grocery industry. We hope the program will encourage more African-American college students to consider the grocery industry as their career of choice."
The training program provides new graduates a year-long learning experience in the grocery retail business. Program participants will learn how the grocery supply chain works and how to successfully operate and manage a Food Lion store.
Upon completing the program, individuals will be assigned to store management positions, where they will gain additional knowledge and skills to build a career with the company. Each will have the opportunity to progress and move into other areas of the company, such as distribution center management, category management, finance, marketing, diversity, and human resources. The opportunities and direction taken at Food Lion will be up to the individual manager.
"We've established two primary objectives for the Retail Management Trainee Program," Taylor explained. "First, we want to increase the number of African-American college graduates trained for store management positions. At the same time, we want to offer comprehensive training in all areas of grocery store operations, equipping our trainees with the necessary skills to become business managers."
Food Lion will select the first 12 program participants from CIAA schools. In subsequent years, the program will open to graduates of other historically black colleges and universities located in Food Lion's 11 state operations area.