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Although Wegmans Food Markets’ Crofton, Md., store doesn’t make its debut until late October, the Northeast grocer is already three months into the hiring process to staff the location with part-time associates. The reason for such an early start can be summed up in one word, according to store manager Gerry Troisi: “Training.”
“By the time our doors open on Oct. 28, we’ll have spent $1.8 million on training for this store alone,” added Troisi. “Our team will be ready to deliver on the promise of incredible customer service.”
Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans plans to hire 360 part-time and 160 full-time employees for the store at Waugh Chapel Towne Centre off Route 3 in Gambrills. Of the total 520 employees, 470 will be new hires from in and around Anne Arundel County. Those interested in working for the company can apply online, with interviews granted by appointment only.
“We take education seriously,” added Troisi, “whether that means raising employees’ in-store skills to the next level or encouraging them to pursue a college degree. We help people build careers.” This corporate value is backed by Wegmans’ scholarship program, which, since its founding in 1987, has awarded $85 million in college tuition assistance to more than 26,500 employees.
For the 2012-13 academic year, the grocer awarded a record $5.05 million to 1,686 associates. Once they meet specific academic, employment and work-performance standards, part-timers can receive up to $1,500 a year and full-timers up to $2,200 a year for four years, with no restrictions on the course of study.
Begun in April, hiring for the Crofton store will continue through summer and fall. “You don’t need to have grocery store experience to apply,” stressed Troisi. “We look for people who are energetic, focused on customer service, passionate about food and respectful of co-workers. If you have those qualities, you’ll fit right in.”
The location, Wegmans’ sixth in Maryland, will offer 70,000 individual products, among them 700 fresh produce items daily, with 100 organic varieties and fresh-cut vegetable and fruit stations; 300 imported and domestic cheeses; a Day Boat Station with whole fish delivered daily to be cut to order; a broad array of prepared foods; and a Market Café with indoor/outdoor seating for 300.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 80 supermarkets chain in New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.