April 3, 2024

Texas International Produce Association Announces Expansion of Career Networking Program “EDGE”

The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) is expanding their career networking student program, Encouraging Discovery & Growth in Education (EDGE), during the Viva Fresh Expo with the attendance of more than 40 Texas university system students.

Formally known as Aggies for Fresh, the program rebranded last year with a mission to offer college students throughout Texas educational resources, networking opportunities and career mentorship to expose them to categories throughout fresh produce looking for young and fresh new talent to fulfill roles in emerging sectors.

This year, the program participants include Texas A&M (College Station), Texas A&M (McAllen), Tarleton, Texas State and UTRGV. The participating students are studying agriculture, accounting, finance and more – all looking for ways to blaze their own path in the industry and seek out employers that align with their career goals.

“As our industry evolves, it is imperative that we keep the next generation and their skills at top of mind,” stated Dante Galeazzi, President/CEO of TIPA. “With the agriculture industry contributing to 2 million jobs state-wide and fresh produce playing a significant role in creating job openings, incorporating current students and upcoming graduates into our companies is imperative to creating the future leaders of tomorrow.”

This year the program includes 6 sponsors including Fresh Texas, Texas Department of Agriculture, Perricone Farms, Delta Fresh Produce, Grower Alliance LLC and Sunview Marketing. Through their sponsorship, 40-plus students throughout the state will have the opportunity to attend the Viva Fresh Expo and interact with produce professionals looking to employ the next generation.

New developments include a section on the EDGE website called “Student Resources,” featuring blogs and soon to incorporate webinars from fresh produce industry professionals. All guest speakers have more than 10 years of experience ranging from careers in sales to senior level management. The program is live on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook including content that provides students tips and updates on current industry affairs.

EDGE acts as a resource for both employers and students who are looking to make connections and take their careers to new heights. The food industry is worth $1.5 trillion and while Texas contributes to a small portion of the overall job market, it is important to note that their impact is strong in categories including sweet onions, watermelon and grapefruit – all potential areas of employment.

“EDGE was formed to encourage students to learn and take on up-and-coming roles within current and emerging sectors in our industry,” Galeazzi said. “On behalf of TIPA, we are proud to host a program that provides value and exposure to the fresh talent looking to create a career path that gives them an EDGE throughout any fruit or vegetable category that resonates with their interests and objectives. We hope Viva Fresh attendees come ready to hire these great students and add to the ranks of the healthiest industry in America.”

TIPA will welcome students to this year’s Viva Fresh Expo on April 13. Companies interested in meeting with EDGE students or who would like to submit job openings or internships for students to review in advance should contact Sabrina Wilson at sabs@fulltiltmarketing.net.

Subscribe to Grocery Insight