In the back corner of Millstone Middle School are two empty rooms. Think of them as blank slates, a pair of canvases that Wakefern will utilize to enrich lives through education.
In less than three months, these rooms will be painted, polished and prepped.
In less than three months, this middle school will have its very own ShopRite.
Millstone Middle School is the latest educational facility to incorporate Wakefern’s Supermarket Careers Program. The program is designed to teach life skills to students who plan to enter the work force after high school. When it is up and running, students will stock shelves, work the cash register and help customers.
“We wanted to enhance the education for our students,” said Millstone Middle School principal Christopher Huss. “Now they can really make connections to real world things.”
Huss invited a team of Wakefern associates – retail training specialist Dorota Szerszenowicz, Non-Perishables merchandising manager Joe Stevens and retail and corporate branding supervisor Chris Backer – to visit the school last week.
“It’s a gorgeous school,” Szerszenowicz, right, said. “Everyone is very, very involved. It’s ideal.”
Stevens spent time discussing logistics with Huss and business administrator Bernie Biesiada. Backer offered suggestions on the store’s décor. And Szerszenowicz tried to coordinate everything to ensure the store will be ready to open in October.
Huss said the initial class will have just over a dozen kids participating, but he hopes to expand that after the program gets rolling. The school has about 450 students.