ALABAMA GROCERS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
The Alabama Grocers Education Foundation recognizes and aids deserving students who are related to Alabama’s food industry by virtue of their parents’ employment or their own part-time employment by firms which are members of the Alabama Grocers Association. The program demonstrates the Association’s interest in the growth and development of the leaders of tomorrow by providing financial assistance to deserving students. It relieves the parents of scholarship recipients of some college expenses and directly aids the colleges attended by the recipients of AGA Scholarships.
The scholarship cycle begins in November of each year, with applications and transcripts due to the Association Office by February 15th. Winners are contacted in April/May and checks are mailed in 2 installments. Half in July and the other half in November. Over $1.28 Million has been awarded to scholarship recipients since the founding of the AGEF in 1993.
Education is the key to job advancement and a more fulfilling career. The Alabama Grocers Education Foundation is dedicated to helping individuals achieve their goals by providing the opportunity to enhance job skills and education by assisting with the cost of tuition.
Our goal is to help people employed in the industry gain the knowledge, skills and abilities to improve their performance and increase their chances for advancement within the industry.
Employees taking courses that enhance their job knowledge and/or courses that support their career aspirations in the grocery or grocery-related manufacturing industries are eligible to receive up to $200 of tuition reimbursement per course. Each employee may receive up to $1,000 annually. Classes may be taken through seminars, workshops, community colleges, accredited colleges and universities, or online programs.
ASSOCIATION 401K PLAN
AGA has partnered with Merrill Lynch and Transamerica which will now be servicing the Multi Employer Plan (MEP) for the Association. This partnership will include benefits such as:
- No Annual Audit
- Cost Savings on the Investments
- No Individual Form 5500 Reporting
- Minimal Plan Maintenance
- Flexible Plan Features, including Safe Harbor, Roth, and Profit Sharing.
- Customizable 401(k) Plan Design options involving eligibility, matches, vesting schedules and more.
Let Merrill Lynch & Transamerica handle the paperwork for you! Tasks that can be shifted may include:
- Administrative Responsibilities
- Employee Eligibility Tracking
- Distribution Processing
- Plan Compliance
- Nondiscrimination Testing
- Plan Compliance
- Annual Reporting
- Participant Enrollment/Education
- Worker’s Compensation
- 24 Hour Employee Coverage
- Deferred Compensation
- Pension Plans
- Key Man Insurance
- Business Agenda
- Salary Continuation
- Commercial Insurance
- General Liability
- Business Auto
RESPONSIBLE VENDOR TRAINING
The Association has a Responsible Vendor Trainer on staff. Courses are certified by the Alabama Beverage Control Board. Please call Ellie Taylor at the Association Office – (800) 844-2391 for more details.
The Alabama Grocers Association has partnered with American Coupon Services to provide a coupon service to AGA Members. Retailers on our program will receive face value plus 4.5 cents per coupon. ACS accepts digital, paper and internet coupons and they have an online portal where you can check your shipment information, see when your next check will be mailed and they can notify you if you have any chargebacks. For more information email Jessica Brown at email@example.com.
CREDIT CARD ASSOCIATION PRICING
Bank of America is offering AGA members some of the industry’s most flexible and efficient payment processing options available, along with valuable savings. Benefits include: specifically negotiated discount rates, fast access to cash, point-of-sale payment options, internet and telephone payment capability, safety and security, gift cards and loyalty programs, terminals and point-of-sale solutions, payroll cards, one statement and 24/7 technical support.
ASSOCIATION HEALTHCARE BENEFIT
AGA has a Health Insurance Plan through Cobbs Allen for AGA Members. Open Enrollment is November 2-20 each year. The AGA Health Plan is a high deductible plan with BlueCross BlueShield, partnered with Alliance Secondary Insurance. Combining primary and secondary insurance creates maximum savings for the plan’s participants. Please click here for a video with more detailed information! If you are intested in learning more, you have the ability to schedule an appointment with a Benefits Educator by visiting www.agabenefits.com or by calling (877) 884-2928. During your scheduled appointment time, a Benefits Educator will assist you in enrolling in the plan.
My Advisor, Inc. is a resource for providing solid solutions for lowering costs of healthcare and employee benefit plans. Founded in 2007, My Advisor has established a reputation as a leader in insurance, employee benefits, healthcare reform and compliance solutions. Through a variety of creative insured and self-funded options, some including BCBS, as well as HR Compliance and Online Benefits Administration Technology, they are helping companies with specific needs. This can include analyzing their current plans for improvements or managing benefits from one portal instead of through multiple websites. This can also include better plans for dental, vision, life, disability and other supplemental benefits such as cancer, critical illness, hospital indemnity and accident plans.
FOOD SAFETY MANAGER CERTIFICATION
Currently stores are required to have one person in the store with a Food Safety Manager Certification. The new food code requires that a certified food manager be present during all hours of operation. This is effective January 2020. If a person with this certification is not in the establishment, they will lose 5 points on their inspection report and have 120 days to come into compliance. There is also a 1-year grace period for class failure. AGA has been working with the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals to make sure our retailers can be in compliance. The Retail Grocery Manager Certification is created by industry subject matter experts with questions and scenarios directly applicable to the grocery environment. The exam is accredited by ANSI and accepted in the same jurisdictions as the standard food manager exam. The process will remain easy.
- Purchase the book online from: http://shopping.nrfsp.com/food-safety-management-principles-for-managers-english for $23.95.
- Have your employee study the book.
- To set up testing you will need to call the Association office at 205.823.5498. You must set up your testing at least 3 weeks in advance. Cost for the testing is $50 per person.
BUY ALABAMA’S BEST – www.buyalabamasbest.org Mission Statement: Our goal is to identify and increase awareness of Alabama food products and increase sales of those products, as well as, raise money for designated charities through partnering with the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries and the Alabama Grocers Association. Alabama food products have a $2 billion economic impact and along with the food service industries employ 1 out of every 4 Alabamians. The designed charity for the Buy Alabama’s Best Program is Children’s of Alabama. A potion of the sales during the months of March and September will go to benefit the hospital. To raise additional funds, participating grocery stores sell icons during those months as well.
The UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Children’s is the state’s only comprehensive pediatric center, treating over 95 percent of all patients in Alabama diagnosed with pediatric cancer and other blood disorders patients diagnosed. In 2009, the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology provided care to over 300 cancer patients actively being treated and over 150 newly diagnosed children with cancer.
To date our efforts have raised over $750,000 for this cause!