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Wegmans file photo
Wegmans file photo

Wegmans celebrates 40th anniversary of employee scholarship program

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Wed, May 29th 2024 07:10 pm

Wegmans Press Release

Wegmans is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its employee scholarship program. Since it began in 1984, more than 46,500 Wegmans employees have been awarded scholarships totaling $145 million. This year, approximately 1,500 new recipients were awarded scholarships. The company expects to pay out more than $6.5 million in tuition assistance to both new and returning scholarship recipients during the 2024-25 school year.

First class of scholarship winners

Mary Beth Stalter and Bill Schmitt were among the 241 employees that received the first scholarships back in 1984. Stalter was one of the first employees to graduate after receiving the Wegmans scholarship, taking home her diploma in January 1985. Today, she oversees the team that awards and manages the scholarship program, as the director of benefits, payroll, retirement, and programs at Wegmans. Stalter’s son was also a scholarship winner and worked for the company throughout high school and college, including a brief stint at Wegmans Organic Farm where he learned some valuable skills that have translated to his current role.

“He is now the director of ecology for a lake association in Connecticut, but he had some great opportunities at Wegmans that were very meaningful to him,” Stalter said. “It’s very cool that Wegmans knows that not everyone is going to stay, and they still invest. They still want to be part of that story.”

Bill Schmitt studied business and finance at Rochester Institute of Technology while working part-time at the Lyell Avenue store. His father worked for Wegmans for 45 years, so he knew the company treated their employees well, and decided to accept a full-time position in Wegmans’ finance department after graduation. Schmitt has served in many different roles throughout his time with the company, and he’s grateful for the various experiences that have led him to his current position as the real estate accounting supervisor.

“Back when I was still in college and looking toward the future, I didn’t foresee all the experiences I would have here at Wegmans,” Schmitt said. “I would tell this year’s class of scholarship winners that there’s many different paths and opportunities for you, especially here at Wegmans. If you make the effort and work hard, you will succeed.”

Supporting current college students

Elijah Delgado joined Wegmans in 2021 as a part-time cashier at the Irondequoit store and received the scholarship for the first-time last fall. In May, he finished his first year of classes at Niagara University, where he used the scholarship to help pay for various college expenses. This summer, Delgado is participating in Wegmans management internship program, rotating through various departments in Wegmans’ stores to learn helpful skills for future roles with the company.

“I want to build my career with Wegmans,” Delgado said. “I’ve had a lot of opportunities already. I’ve never heard of another company doing so much for their employees. They treat us like family.”

Part-time employee scholarship recipients are eligible to receive up to $8,000 over four years, and full-time employees can receive up to $16,000 over four years. No limit is placed on the number of scholarships awarded each year, and no restrictions are made on a student’s course of study. Recipients may choose any area of study from an accredited college and enter any field they desire upon graduation. Many scholarship winners, however, decide to stay with Wegmans after college, continuing their career growth within the company.

To receive a scholarship, Wegmans employees must meet work-performance criteria. Eligibility is also based on a minimum number of work hours over a specified time period.

Visit Wegmans.com to view the list of this year’s scholarship recipients // 2024 Wegmans Scholarship Winners Celebration (youtube.com).

Celebration at Wegmans stores

All Wegmans stores will host a celebration for this year’s scholarship recipients at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, when mini cupcakes will be served.

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