One hundred top students from colleges across the county, along with 30 industry leaders, gathered for what’s becoming a signature event for Center for Growing Talent: Immersion Academy 2018. 

This year’s event reinforced Immersion Academy’s role as a vital pipeline for companies across the supply chain to connect with talented young prospective employees. 

College seniors from the following schools were selected to participate. Over two days, Immersion Academy gave the students an overview of the fresh produce and floral industry, its various components (such as science and technology, supply chain/logistics, production, and marketing) and the many job opportunities it offers. 

  • Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
  • Auburn University
  • Colorado State University
  • Illinois State
  • Oregon State
  • Penn State University
  • Rutgers University 
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Texas, Dallas
  • West Virginia University

The event allowed plenty of time for students and industry leaders to connect, both informally during receptions and meals, and formally, during speed interviewing and career fair sessions. Those sessions allowed hiring managers to meet with several qualified candidates and lay the groundwork for bringing young talent into their organizations.

In its first year, Immersion Academy brought companies and new employees together, like Passion Growers, which hired 2018 UT graduate Karen Rodriguez. Ben Pauley of Passion Growers calls Immersion Academy not just a good thing for the industry but a great thing for companies seeking talent. We anticipate more positive stories to come out of this year’s event.

We thank our students, sponsors, speakers and industry participants for making Immersion Academy 2018 a success for all involved. Stay tuned for news about 2019.

About Center for Growing Talent

We’re a nonprofit organization established by the Produce Marketing Association and business leaders in the fresh produce industry. Our mission is to provide industry-specific solutions to attract, develop and retain talent. We create programs, resources and events for college students, young professionals, emerging leaders and executives working in all aspects of our industry. Learn more about Center for Growing Talent and about Produce Marketing Association.