NAMA’s National Vending Day, an event in its inaugural year, has drawn attention from many vending companies that recognized it. The event recognizes the impact and value people and products in the vending and convenience services industries bring to the U.S. Crane Merchandising Systems, a designer and manufacturer of vending machines, celebrated National Vending Day on March 7, 2019, with a tremendous event.
Crane Showcases Career Opportunities in Vending
Kirn Reis, Vice President, General Manager for Cold Drink, Snack and Food at Crane, said the company wanted to celebrate National Vending Day by informing local students about the impact of the industry and the many career opportunities it offers. The event, Career Day, was the first of its kind for the company, she said.
In order to do that, Crane invited middle school students from five classrooms of students from three school districts in the rural area surrounding its headquarters in Williston, SC, to encourage their awareness of the diversity of careers in the industry.
“These students may not be aware of some of the exciting career opportunities that are available to them that are created as a part of the channel,” Reis said.
She added that the company focused on middle school students because they are at a point in their lives at which they are starting to make choices about what their futures will look like.
Children Explore Vending Through Career Day Activities
Reis said the event began with a brief overview of the convenience service and vending industries, along with a presentation on entrepreneurship from operator Dixie Riverside.
“A lot of vending is an entrepreneurial venture. It’s very much an American dream kind of opportunity,” she said. “And so we wanted to also invite someone in who could kind of speak to that perspective.”
Students were able to learn about the industry from Crane employees in various career paths at six different activity stations: engineering, finance, human resources, entrepreneurship, technicians and manufacturing. For example, Crane engineers showed students a “cobot,” a robot that assists humans in manufacturing and testing environments, at their station. A finance group of employees engaged students in a challenge where they looked at the financial accounting involved in costing bills of materials in the manufacturing environment. Crane encouraged the participating associates to share their experiences and personal career journeys with the students.
Reis said the company hoped to positively influence students who participated in the event and help them get excited about career paths in vending and convenience services, regardless of which type of skills they have and where they see themselves in the future.
“It went great,” Reis said about the event. “Students were particularly excited about engineering and technician roles, and there was great engagement.”
She said the company also hopes to better coordinate with the local schools and economic development agencies to support STEM careers.
“National Vending Day is an exciting opportunity for the industry to come together and celebrate the impact that we make,” Reis said.