Meet the digital generation of the work force - The Packer

Meet the digital generation of the work force

03/18/2011 10:02:11 AM
Produce Marketing Association

Managed by PMA’s Foundation for Industry Talent, the Career Pathways program has helped attract more than 256 students to leading produce companies across the supply chain.

But once we attract, can we retain? Let’s be honest, the produce industry isn’t known as a hotbed of technological innovation — but we do offer them the attraction of being a “white hat” place to work, connecting to their desire to make a difference in their world.

The savvy boss will catch up on the technology, which might mean company-supplied tools to connect, apps to computerize routine job functions, and putting into action a new definition of communications, including the use of social media on company time (even during company meetings).

Anything less won’t attract the best and brightest natives, writes Six Pixels of Separation blogger Mitch Joel.

And because workplace disruption is possible when the native and immigrant cultures collide, that might also mean cultural training and team-building exercises to help them understand, work effectively with and respect each other in the workplace. (After all, we can still learn a thing or two from the other.)

Yes, there will be cultural shifts in the workplace, but these natives will be worth the effort since they will be your connection to your new native customer.

Our industry needs to be recruiting and grooming this talent in our companies now, to prepare for the transition that will be needed as our consumer base shifts from immigrants to natives.

How are you preparing to bridge this coming digital divide? Resources can include PMA’s Foundation for Industry Talent.

The foundation’s new Emerging Leaders Program, premiering this June, is designed to help retain and develop that cutting edge new talent our industry needs for the future.

Margi Prueitt is executive director of the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent.

How does your company put to use the skill sets of Gen. Y and Gen. Z? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.

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