Bergen CC, Party City collaborate to provide learning opportunities

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 & inclusion.

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 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.”