Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) today reported that it has hired more than 1,000 students from America’s colleges and universities in 2012 for slots in the company’s Executive Development Program (EDP) and for summer internships nationwide.

The hires include 730 new college graduates for full-time EDP positions, which is an entry-level step in building a career as an executive with the company. In addition, 326 college students – primarily those between their junior and senior years – have joined Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s as interns in stores, merchandising, private brand development, dotcom, information technology, logistics, credit and corporate services functions.

The 2012 total of 1,056 hires is an increase of nearly 30 percent over 819 Macy’s, Inc. college hires in 2011 (559 EDP and 260 interns). The 2012 class of college hires was recruited from more than 50 American college and university campuses after a rigorous selection process to identify the highest-potential talent.

“For decades, our company has been known as the training ground for the most impressive talent in the retailing industry. That legacy continues today, not only in recruiting outstanding college students with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, but in developing their talent and skills at every step along their career paths,” said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We pride ourselves on managing our business with passionate, well-rounded executives who are able to make decisions centered on customer needs and preferences. This approach to talent is vital as we continue to develop the culture of growth in our company and sharpen our strategies and execution as the omnichannel fashion retailer of choice.”

Macy’s, Inc.’s total workforce includes approximately 171,000 employees, including about 22,000 executive positions. Many of the company’s executives started their careers after graduating from the highly regarded EDP, which has been an industry standard of excellence for decades. The company’s training and development programs encompass a wide range of programs and include an in-house Leadership Institute for continuing education and leadership development.

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2011 sales of $26.4 billion. The company operates about 840 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the macys.com and bloomingdales.com websites. The company also operates eight Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores.