What is DECA?

Nick Collins

Nick Collins
Publix at DECA ICDC Conference, Atlanta, 2014

Publix representatives and scholarship recipients at the DECA High School International Career Development Conference held in Atlanta, GA in May, 2014.

The Publix recruiting team just returned from a major conference held by DECA, an organization that prepares high school and college students for leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

This international event was held in Atlanta, Ga., where 17,000 high school students from the U.S. and Canada participated in competitions to showcase their career skills.

Hundreds of Publix store managers and corporate associates serve as judges at state and international DECA conferences each year because we believe this organization does a superb job of putting students on a viable career track.

Founded in 1946, DECA helps students get ready for colleges and careers by offering “co-curricular programs” integrating classroom instruction, role-playing, and competition.

Seeing its value in our communities, Publix has been a national sponsor of DECA at the high school level since 2006.  Besides providing judges at DECA conferences, this includes the following:

  • Providing scholarships to Publix associates who are the most active in DECA.
  • Offering organizational support to DECA, including serving on national, state and regional advisory boards.
  • Providing speakers at DECA high school classes.
  • Offering financial support for DECA, including supplies for conferences.

Most important, we hire DECA students wherever we can because their preparation makes them a good fit for our company culture.  These students are career-minded and future-focused.  They are outgoing and savvy in their networking capabilities.  In short, they embody the traits Publix looks for in future leaders.

So, if you know any high school students, encourage them to learn if their school has a DECA program and if so, to get involved.  And if you have the opportunity to support the organization by lending time or other resources, please do so.

In short, DECA is a real success story in terms of preparing tomorrow’s leaders, today.

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