PARAMUS, N.J. – Officials from Bergen Community College and Party City, the global celebrations retailer, recently collaborated on a pair of June events that provided learning opportunities for the College’s students and company personnel.
The first event brought students from Bergen’s LatinxCEO experiential education program and the Office of Multicultural Services and Activities to Party City’s global headquarters in Woodcliff Lake for a day of hands-on learning. Party City executives led a panel discussion on tips for succeeding in business and also sponsored interview workshops for the students. The College launched LatinxCEO earlier this year to provide minority students with the resources, skills and experience they need to challenge underrepresentation in the workplace. The program combines two priorities outlined in the College’s strategic goals: creating new workforce development initiatives and enhancing its approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
Just two days later, Bergen and Party City switched roles - this time, the College provided an educational experience for company staff. Party City leaders tabbed Bergen Dean of Research and Institutional Effectiveness Tonia McKoy, Ed.D., to serve as the keynote speaker at the company’s Juneteenth celebration at its headquarters, seeking to raise awareness about the federal holiday that now includes decorations for purchase in the company’s retail stores. Before a crowd of hundreds of Party City staffers, McKoy detailed the history of Juneteenth and discussed why DEI initiatives create belongingness at organizations. She also encouraged those in attendance to explore the College’s offerings and visit the institution’s main campus “just nine miles down the road.”
The College’s Linda Caruso worked with Executive Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development Cinzia D’Iorio to create LatinxCEO and establish the relationship with Party City officials.
Party City is a global leader in the celebrations industry. A vertically integrated designer, manufacturer, distributor and retailer, PCHI offers consumer party goods in more than 100 countries around the world. PCHI operates multiple business divisions, including the Retail Division and the Consumer Products Division. On the retail side, Party City (partycity.com) is the leading omnichannel retailer in the celebrations category, operating more than 800 company-owned, franchise stores, and Halloween City (halloweencity.com) seasonal pop-up stores. Comprising the Consumer Products Group are design and manufacturing entities Amscan, an industry leader across multiple celebrations goods and costumes, and Anagram, a dominant player in balloons. PCHI is headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, with additional locations throughout the Americas and Asia.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
photo caption: Bergen students and officials visited with Party City Holdings Inc. employees at the company’s Woodcliff Lake headquarters on June 13.