Wegmans Leads the Way on Youth Employment

By: Samuel Castillo, Programming and Communications Intern, USCCF’s Education and Workforce Center

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. General Counsel Paul Speranza is well known for his determination and great leadership. Paul has been presented with many awards throughout his lifetime recognizing his achievements, such as the 2009 Corning Award for Excellence, the most prestigious award presented by the Business Council of New York State. His accomplishments would not have been possible without the full college scholarship he was awarded his senior year of high school to attend Syracuse University. Grateful for the opportunity given to him, Paul has made it his mission to help the younger generation in his community have the same opportunities he was given.

Born and raised in Rochester, New York, Paul knows firsthand that the education system is not up to par with other communities in New York. According to the State Department of Education, only 43.4 % of high school seniors in Rochester public schools graduated in 2013. Of those who did graduate, less than 10 percent were college ready. With Paul’s support, Wegmans has been able to implement new initiatives focused on high school seniors who are preparing to graduate and enter the workforce. As the largest employer of youth in the area, Wegmans has inspired other businesses in the community to do the same. Wegmans not only offers students job opportunities but also has in place an employee scholarship program so that they may continue their education past high school.

Paul believes that education is a civil right and that every child deserves a high quality education. This signifies the passion that Paul has for future generations and the leaders of tomorrow.

To learn more about Paul and others across the country who are doing extraordinary work in education, visit ProfilesOfChange.org.

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Education and Workforce Blog.]