October 4, 2016

TEMPLE, Texas — Convenience-store, grocery and foodservice distributor McLane Co. Inc. has expanded Spark, a companywide initiative focused on identifying workplace diversity opportunities through a variety of programs, community outreach and lending support to nationally recognized diversity-focused annual events.

With the expansion, McLane is furthering its commitment of creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce to foster creativity and innovation to better understand evolving trends.

As part of this expansion, McLane has collaborated with the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehab (DVR), Workforce Boulder County and Easter Seals on a Workplace Diversity Hiring pilot program that provides real-world work experience to individuals with disabilities. DVR and Workforce Boulder County refer participants of the Workplace Diversity Hiring program to participate in a six-week training program that combines classroom and on-the-job training. The two weeks of classroom instruction includes soft-skills training, such as teamwork and problem solving taught by Easter Seals. The remaining four weeks of the program are located at the McLane Western Distribution Center, where participants will be exposed to real-world work experience as they integrate and work alongside McLane teammates. During the experiential training, a job coach accompanies participants, ensuring they receive proper training based on their individual abilities.

The second training session is scheduled to kick off in early October.

Other programs currently deployed under the Spark initiative include:

  • Hiring Our Heroes (HOH): McLane embarked on a partnership with Hiring Our Heroes in 2015. Initiated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the 12-week corporate fellowship program strives to make the transition to civilian careers easier and more seamless for military veterans. McLane works with other HOH partners Workforce Solutions and the Texas Veterans Commission to source active-duty military personnel for on-site project work lasting 11 weeks. To date, McLane has successfully hosted four fellows and has hired three. With this partnership, McLane is able to tap into the skills, drive and value our veterans have to offer.
  • Operation Impact Network of Champions: To further expand its veteran reach and talent with expertise in logistics, information technology, security, maintenance and business operations, McLane became part of the Operation Impact Network of Champions. Northrop Grumman, a Department of Defense contractor, started this program and sets out to assist wounded service members injured during the war on terrorism with transition from military to civilian careers.

“McLane recognizes the value of a diverse workforce to include people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, and with highly trained military expertise. The launch of Spark deeply aligns with McLane’s beliefs and values of honesty, integrity and high Christian principles, and further demonstrates our commitment to diversity inclusion,” said Jennifer Rojas, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) compliance and inclusion manager for McLane.

McLane plans to include additional disability training programs under the Workplace Diversity Hiring Program, as well as seek out additional opportunities.

Temple, Texas-based is a supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States. It is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Omaha.