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TEMPLE, Texas — October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month and with that recognition, McLane Co. Inc. has expanded SPARK, a company-wide initiative focused on identifying workplace diversity opportunities.
With the expansion, McLane furthers its commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce to foster creativity and innovation in order to better understand evolving trends and drive results for customers, according to the company.
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.
According to McLane, participants of the Workplace Diversity Hiring program are referred by DVR and Workforce Boulder County 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, McLane noted.
Other programs currently deployed under the SPARK initiative include:
- Hiring Our Heroes: 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. To date, McLane has successfully hosted four fellows and has hired three.
- Operation Impact Network of Champions: McLane partners with this program, started by Northrop Grumman, to further expand its veteran reach and talent with expertise in logistics, information technology, security, maintenance and business operations
"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, EEO compliance, and inclusion manager at McLane.
"It's been a great experience working jointly with the many exceptional partners we've identified for each program, and we look forward to adding great talent to build out the McLane team and making people's lives better," she added.
Looking ahead with SPARK, McLane plans to include additional disability training programs under the Workplace Diversity Hiring Program, as well as seek out opportunities that bring greater impact to the company, its teammates and the communities it serves.
Temple-based McLane is one of the largest supply chain services leaders, providing grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions for convenience stores, mass merchants, drug stores and chain restaurants throughout the United States.