CWS Expands Kroger Training Program to Durham

Raleigh, NC – Community Workforce Solutions, Inc. (CWS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment, announced today that their Kroger training
program has been expanded to Durham. In addition to the Raleigh location where the program was launched in September 2007, the training program will be offered at the Kroger store located at 1802 North Point Drive in Durham.

“Kroger is proud to have partnered with Community Workforce Solutions over the last three years in Raleigh. We believe that people with disabilities, in the right job, can be productive associates in our business,” said Kroger District Manager Tim Smothers. “They train in our stores for sometimes up to twelve weeks. Once they complete the training and depending on job availability, they can go to work for us. It is a joy to see this program work for these individuals and give them some independence.”

The program is designed to assist individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment gain skills in grocery operations and prepare them for competitive employment. Trainees learn stocking, bagging, customer service and other skills. Since its inception, 24 individuals have completed training and have been hired at area Kroger stores. The retention rate for individuals hired is well over 70%. Referrals for the program will come primarily from the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

“We are very excited to expand our community based training model to Durham. Our partnership has created numerous opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment and we applaud Kroger for its faith in us and commitment to the community,” said Roger McGee, President and Executive Director. “Community-based training offers a highly specialized type of training in which specific skills can be learned on the job. As a result, the success rate for stable placements is higher than that of traditional placements. This is a win-win situation for Kroger, CWS and most importantly, the individuals we serve.”

“Vocational Rehabilitation Services is pleased to partner with Community Workforce Solutions in this exciting training program provided by Kroger,” said Jessie Pickett-Williams, Durham Unit Manager. “This is a
tremendously creative opportunity for qualified workers with disabilities in our community to establish a career in this industry.”

View a segment on the Kroger training program aired by NBC 17.


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