Pennsylvania Reps. Robert Brady And Dwight Evans Act To Save Vending Vocational Training Program

Posted On: 4/17/2017

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TAGS: vending, National Automatic Merchandising Association, Vending Technologies Program, A. Philip Randolph Career Academy, vending machine technician, CIP Code, Robert A. Brady, Dwight Evans, Thomas W. Brock, Pedro A. Rivera, Bud Burke

CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association reports that two members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania have taken action to support the continuation of Philadelphia's long-running and very successful Vending Technologies Program.

Launched in 1989 and now conducted in the A. Philip Randolph Career Academy, the course prepares high school students for careers as vending machine technicians. Its continuation is threatened by the elimination of a Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code for vending and recreational machine repair, which has jeopardized the state's ability to administer and fund it. | SEE EDITORIAL

Reps. Robert A. Brady (D-PA) and Dwight Evans (D-PA), representing the state's first and second congressional districts, respectively, have sent a letter to Thomas W. Brock, commissioner of the National Center for Education Research and Institute of Education Sciences, and Hon. Pedro A. Rivera, Pennsylvania secretary of education, in which they call for rectifying this deficiency.

"The need for qualified technicians has increased dramatically in the vending industry," the Congressmen explained, and Randolph vending program graduates can enter the workforce at a rate of pay "significantly higher than the minimum wage." They added that much of the program's success is owed to support by the vending industry, including donation of equipment.

"We look forward to working together to protect this important program for the students of the City of Philadelphia, the vending industry and jobs across the country," they concluded.

The initiative was hailed by Bud Burke, RSA Management Group, who chairs the program's Occupational Advisory Committee. "I want to thank Congressmen Brady and Evans and their staff members for their support of this important program. Its existence helps advance the convenience services industry and provides opportunities for their constituents in the Philadelphia region," he said.

Burke reported that several Randolph VTP students took part in NAMA's 2016 Fly-In legislative visits. The recent letter "is a direct result of meetings held between the Congressional offices and VTP students," he noted. The students were able to participate in the Fly-In thanks to scholarships from the NAMA Foundation, Women's Industry Network (WIN) and the Tri-State Council.

"We are grateful for the support of these elected officials, and look forward to obtaining a positive result for the program as a result of this congressional action," Burke said. He promised to keep the industry updated on developments.

Democracy In Action

The NAMA Fly-In is open to all NAMA company member representatives, industry leaders, and customers who want to advocate for the industry. The NAMA team will facilitate face-to-face meetings with elected officials and senior staff members, giving participants an opportunity to discuss issues that affect their businesses.

Each group will be accompanied by a NAMA staff representative. There is no registration fee, but registrants' addresses and other information are required to correctly schedule congressional visits. Program Highlights include an introductory orientation on meeting with legislators, a welcome reception and dinner, and professionally prepared meeting materials. The occasion also offers abundant networking opportunities.

This year's NAMA Fly-In is set for July 25 and 26 (Tuesday and Wednesday). Online registration for the event is available at