Over the past six years, Portland State’s Food Industry Leadership Center has found jobs for 100 percent of its graduates, a number it says is not “a misprint or exaggeration,” according to its Web site.
Over the past six years, Portland State’s Food Industry Leadership Center has found jobs for 100 percent of its graduates, a number it says is not “a misprint or exaggeration,” according to its Web site. The program sets students up to graduate and find jobs in management and professional fields in the food industry.
The FILC proudly proclaims that, even in this downturned economy, the program can still not only generate 100 percent employment, but also $60,000–$80,000 in scholarships to its current students.
“There are jobs out there. Companies want employees that can get work fast,” said FILC Executive Director Tom Gillpatrick.
The FILC was created in 1944 as a partnership between PSU’s School of Business Administration and members of the food industry sector. According to FILC’s Web site, food and packaged goods retailers funded the program in order to make a “world-class resource for recruiting and developing top management talent specific to the food industry.”
The center works to link education, leadership and research together into one field that will help students gain valuable knowledge. It also claims to be a “leading university-affiliated resource designed by and tailored to the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry.”
Food and retail is a $2.3 trillion per year industry, according to PSU’s Web site. There are currently 200 students in the program. The FILC helps prepare students to develop professional skills through employment and internship opportunities with local and distant food industry companies.
Local employers such as Fred Meyer, Target and Kroger all take on students as interns and graduates as employees, said Rahel Yared, manager of Programs and Diversity.
There are several different certificates and degrees for undergraduates that students can get in Food Industry Management which will help them start a career in the food industry, and will help foster the skills and training needed to advance in the industry. FILC also specializes in the relationships between the food industry and consumers. The center focuses on meeting the needs and the wants of the consumer, while maintaining business relationships with its partners.
“Industry managers come to us to get additional strategic skills,” according to Gillpatrick’s profile on PSU’s Web site. “Many of them have reached the top of a functional area—such as sales, distribution or research—but don’t feel prepared for the challenges of general management. Now they’re faced with putting together information systems and learning to deal more effectively with customers. With the help of the FILC, these people become leaders who are equipped to think more broadly.”
FILC also works with an industry-led advisory board “representing a wide variety of interests,” according to its Web site. This board meets with program directors to figure out new ways to progress the center’s growth and leadership.
For more information, visit the FILC’s office, located at 631 SW Harrison, Suite 260, or call them at 503-725-8184.