WASHINGTON, DC — October 1, 2003 — In recognition of excellence in training initiatives, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) presented the 2003 Maximizing People Potential Award to Hy-Vee, Inc., for the company’s distinctive learning programs. The award is presented annually to a retailer or wholesaler that has developed an exceptional human resources (HR) or training program.

Judged on originality, quality and the impact the program has had on the company, the award submissions were narrowed down to three finalists and presented to the attendees of the annual HR/Training and Development Conference (HR/T&D) in Washington, DC.   The attendees then voted for the most exceptional program and the winning company was announced at the awards dinner.

Based in West Des Moines, IA, Hy-Vee offers three unique training curricula designed to benefit participants through various phases of employment:

  • An e-learning program offers courses in customer service, leadership and management, communication, sexual harassment, personal development, marketing and desktop skills.
  • The Hy-Vee University Graduate Degree is designed to encourage college employees to stay with the company after graduation. The Graduate Degree is a fast-track training program for people whose objective is to gain key management positions within the company.
  • The Hy-Vee University Operations Degree provides secondary training for employees with an associate degree or less and is geared toward people who wish to enhance their knowledge of the perimeter departments with the intention of becoming a department manager.

“All of the semi-finalists for the Maximizing People Potential Award exhibited impressive and innovative human resources and training initiatives,” said Kim Roberts, manager, education programs, FMI. “FMI is pleased to recognize the organizational achievements of Hy-Vee and to share its valuable program ideas with other FMI members.”

The runners-up for the award were:

  • Bashas’ Inc., Chandler, AZ — The company’s Language Skills Project was established to improve communications with the diverse community by fostering bilingual employees. Training classes in member orientation, cashier, bakery, deli, courtesy, customer service, liquor, pallet jack, produce and meat are offered in both English and Spanish. English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are also offered to employees on a quarterly basis and tuition reimbursement is available for outside language classes.
  • Food Lion LLC, Division of Delhaize America, Salisbury, NC — In 2001, Food Lion in the Outer Banks, NC, began hiring students from Eastern Europe to help with the increased workload during tourist season. Since implementing the program in cooperation with OBX Pathways — a nonprofit organization providing aid to internationals — employment has grown from 50 students in the summer of 2001 to more than 400 in 2002. Food Lion’s human resources, recruiting and operations departments work together to employ and house these students.

Hy-Vee, Inc., will receive a trophy, recognition on the FMI Web site and in the Advantage magazine.

For more information on the Maximizing People Potential Award, please contact Kim Roberts (202-220-0720, kroberts@fmi.org).