WMU News

Target selected as 'Employer of the Year'

July 24, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University has named Target Corp., a general merchandise discount retailing chain, as its 2000-01 Employer of the Year.

Career & Student Employment Services, part of WMU's Division of Student Affairs, selects one employer for the honor each academic year. Recipients are chosen based on their contributions and commitment to furthering the career development and professional growth of WMU students.

"As a company, Target deserves special recognition for consistently supporting and sponsoring events designed to introduce our students to internships and professional employment opportunities," says Linda Ickes, C&SES associate director of employer development.

"Additionally, Becky Ploeg often partners with us in teaching students job search and professional etiquette skills. Becky is much more than a recruiter, she consistently gives the gift of time and role models professionalism for our students. Students love her presentation style and the real-life examples she shares."

Ploeg, Target's market team relations leader for West Michigan, is a six-year veteran of the company. Her responsibilities include recruiting, training and human resources advising.

"I really enjoy working with WMU and feel it's important to give back to a university that has been such a great partner in our recruiting efforts," Ploeg says. "WMU spends time preparing students for the 'real world,' and it shows in the quality of candidates we interview on campus."

Target participates in such WMU programs as on-campus interviewing sessions, the annual career fair and the annual Etiquette Dinner business seminar.

"In addition to offering fulfilling careers to our graduates, Target focuses considerable attention and resources on promoting student learning and professional development, " Ickes says. "We're proud to partner with organizations like this, organizations that sincerely support WMU's career-related activities."

According to Target's Web site, the company has a presence in 46 states and operates nearly 1,000 stores, including Target Greatland stores and SuperTarget stores. It opened its first store in 1962 and now provides full- and part-time employment to about 214,000 people in fields as varied as advertising, finance, logistics, management and e-commerce. The company is an active partner in local and national community service efforts, primarily those involving the arts, education and families. It will give an estimated $53 million this year through grants and volunteer activities.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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