Whitewater team a semi-finalist for employment branding challenge

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Publix Super Markets is looking closely at the ideas of two students for attracting young employment applicants to their stores.

Whitewater High DECA students Yanna Banks and Lia Poulson have been selected as 12 semi-finalist teams in the Publix Brand Champion Challenge, a competition open to DECA students that involves creating a fully integrated marketing program to attract 16 to 25-year-olds to apply for work at the stores. DECA is a student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.

Students were given a pretend budget of $250,000 to develop their plans, and were required to create a video not exceeding 10 minutes to communicate their ideas and strategies. The competition was open to students in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Now the students must submit a written plan of their employment branding program. Publix will select three teams to participate in the final competition round. Those teams will be invited to make in-person presentations at the corporate offices of Publix Super Markets in Lakeland, FL in March.