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Three noted Philadelphia-based employment organizations are saluting The Fresh Grocer supermarket chain for its superior employment practices. The organizations -- the JEVS Human Services, the Marriott Foundation’s "Bridges" program and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians – each work closely with the Drexel Hill, Pa.-based indepedent grocer to provide job placement and employment opportunities in underserved communities.
JEVS is presenting its 2011 Business Leadership Award to The Fresh Grocer at JEVS’ Strictly Business Awards Luncheon this month. The Fresh Grocer will receive the honor because of its innovative approach to hiring and training workers, its dedication in supporting employees’ occupational and personal successes, and its recruitment and hiring partnership with JEVS.
“Helping our clients enter the workforce for the first time, or re-enter after hardships, is no small challenge in today’s economy,” said Jay Spector, president and CEO at JEVS Human Services, adding that “The Fresh Grocer … opens its doors to those who want to work, but who simply need a chance at a first start or fresh start.”
Since their partnerhip began in 2006, The Fresh Grocer and JEVS have placed more than 75 Philadelphia residents in various employment positions throughout the chain’s seven stores.
“We … believe that the more we work together, the stronger the connection between employer and job developer become,” observed Sheila Lajoie, The Fresh Grocer’s director of human resources “We have grown dependent upon our relationships with different human service organizations, especially JEVS.”
The Marriott Foundations’ Bridges program will present The Fresh Grocer with the Outstanding Employer of the Year Award at an upcoming employer recognition event in November. The program was established to provide more employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Fresh Grocer garnered this award because of its recognition of the strengths of individuals, which allows them the opportunity to blossom.
The grocer will also receive the 2011 Employer of Distinction Award from the Welcome Center for New Pennsylvanians at its eighth Solas Awards ceremony in December. The Welcome Center works with The Fresh Grocer to help new citizens gain employment. The award will honor the chain’s commitment to providing and maintaining a diverse workforce.
“The Fresh Grocer is committed to offering employment and career opportunities to members of our local community,” noted Fresh Grocer President and CEO Patrick Burns. “Our partnerships with human service organizations like JEVS, Bridges, and the Welcome Center for New Pennsylvanians have been extremely beneficial in helping us to continuously achieve this goal.”
With the newest Fresh Grocer location slated to open next fall in New Brunswick, N.J., the supermarket is expecting to create more than 200 new jobs for those in the community seeking employment.
JEVS, Bridges and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians are among the more than 50 other human service organizations that have collaborated with The Fresh Grocer to help place more than 1,250 associates to date.