For the second consecutive year, the Packers Pro Shop was named the 'Co-Op Employer of the Year' at an area school following a recommendation by one of its student employees.
Matt Hasseler, of Green Bay's Southwest High School, submitted the winning nomination as part of his Co-Op marketing course.
Hasseler, who has been employed by the Pro Shop for two years, says that along with the renovations at Lambeau Field, his work ethic has also experienced an overhaul based on his experience at the Pro Shop.
"The Packers Pro Shop is multiple times the size of the old store," writes Hasseler, "and with it comes new responsibilities. From having to hire enough people to work the new store, to making sure things run smoothly on gamedays, my employer, Kate Hogan, does a great job."
Hogan, Senior Manager of Retail Operations for the Packers, is in her fifth year participating in the Co-Op programs at Southwest and Preble High Schools and is proud of what her student employee staff has gained from the program.
"It's great. They take away what they've learned from working with customers, working with co-workers," said Hogan, who was honored with the same award last year by students at Preble. "But also what it tells us is that they enjoy where they work, they're learning something and they are getting something back from the experience that they feel is benefiting them in their class or in life. That's really cool because you want young kids to feel involved in what they're doing and that it's worthwhile and it's going to lead to something down the road."
Already seeing the impact that the Pro Shop will have on their future, Preble students Eric De Wayne and Preble 'Co-Op Student of the Year', Jenny Rosin, also nominated their employer for the award.
"This has been one of the best experiences of my life," said Rosin, who plans on studying business in college while remaining employed at the Pro Shop. "I love working here. I wouldn't want to work anywhere else. I was given the opportunity to learn merchandise display, as well as sitting in on a strategic meeting to discuss plans for the next 2-3 years.
"I'm not quite sure what area of business I want to go into yet, but you get almost every aspect of it here. Kate Hogan and her staff have made this job an experience I will be able to take with me the rest of my life."
"They have taught me that the key to a successful job is loving the work that you do," added De Wayne, "and it is evident that my fellow employees love their work. To sum it up, my Co-op job at the Packers Pro Shop has taught me very crucial business and social skills and I am now a well-rounded individual ready for the real world of work."
Hogan says that the Pro Shop looks forward to expanding its work experience programs in the fall, extending opportunities to high school students with developmental issues within Green Bay's public school system.
The Pro Shop currently has a staff of approximately 70 employees, including its 40 high school and collegiate student workers.