Community College Programs

The Western Association of Food Chains is pleased to announce the new WAFC Retail Management Certificate Program, a 10-course college-level program that has been fully endorsed by the Western Association of Food Chains and its member companies. The certificate’s curriculum was developed out of a collaborative effort between several food industry and college professionals and encompasses several business essentials, including the "soft skills" of management and communication required for career success in the retail food industry. 

Any interested community college in the 14 Western United States can seek approval to offer the WAFC Retail Management Certificate. (It is important to note that many community colleges already offer similar curriculum. However, the WAFC has endorsed and will advertise/recognize only those colleges that have adopted course curriculum/guidelines consistent with those established by the WAFC Retail Management Curriculum Advisory Group. -- This consistency is critical for WAFC member-students, since the WAFC desires to formally recognize and financially reward those employees who successfully complete the WAFC endorsed certificate).

What does WAFC endorsement mean to participating colleges?

  • Industry-provided incentives that increase enrollment and add prestige to the certificate (i.e., WAFC honorarium, luncheon, and specially recognized certificate for those who successfully complete the program)
  • Direct internal marketing for courses that may have dwindling enrollment.
  • Increased opportunities for curriculum development and updating of curriculum with industry input.
  • Opportunities for faculty revitalization in technical subject areas.
  • Opportunities for guest speakers from the "real world" of the business community to address college classes about careers in the food industry, business trends affecting the local economy, etc.
  • Possible recruitment and internship opportunities for students.

What does WAFC endorsement mean to WAFC Member Companies?

Employees of WAFC member companies who complete the entire certificate program will receive the following:

  • Dual Certification: a specially recognized educational certificate awarded by the WAFC, as well as a Retail Management Certificate from the college they have attended.
  • Special recognition luncheon (taking place annually for all participating chains)
  • A WAFC honorarium (monetary award) for their scholastic achievement
  • Many of the WAFC Member companies are also awarding a matching honorarium or tuition reimbursement to their employees.

Students are advised to contact their HR Departments for company specific details.