Our Spotlight! is shining brightly on the KRA/DC TANF Employment Program’s (TEP) Job Development Services team that supported new business partner, Walmart, in a major staffing effort for the Grand Opening of the retail giant’s third DC Supercenter, which announced on its October 28th webpage, “What an amazing day for Fort Totten and the Lamond-Riggs community.”
Chris Vera, Job Developer, reports, “It was also an amazing day for DC/TEP, which KRA operates for the Department of Human Services. About a year ago, I noticed a lot of positive media attention on the prospect of Walmart building in ‘the DC community’ as opposed to the suburbs. When the authorization to build came from Mayor Bowser’s office, I knew it would be ‘open season’ for jobseekers from DC/TEP, as well as KRA’s PGWorks Program in nearby Prince George’s County.
We worked through a lot of corporate, regional, and local layers to reach the right decision-makers, but at each level, Walmart representatives were consistently receptive to a relationship that would provide public-assistance recipients with opportunities to become self-sufficient. Within weeks, the regional Market HR Manager put me in contact with Paul Hill, Store Manager, and from the first meeting, our ‘partnership with a plan’ was born.”
As part of the “plan”, KRA organized a series of DC/TEP-site Application Sessions, which proved a successful recruiting tool for supplying Walmart HR with pre-screened candidates who were hired…and on-the-job for the Grand Opening…in customer-greeting, sales, cashiering, food service, pharmacy, shelf-stocking, and other front-end positions.
At the Grand Opening, Muriel Bowser, DC Mayor, was assisted by Brandon Todd, Ward 4 Councilman; Deborah Carroll, Director, DC Department of Employment Services; Paul Hill; and other celebrants in cutting the ceremonial ribbon, with hundreds of cheering well-wishers.
Since the Opening, KRA has filled other positions, including a Support Manager (PGWorks), and a Shift Supervisor (DC/TEP). And, Walmart has requested another Application Session, expected to generate 20+ applications for more administrative, managerial, and supervisory openings, as well additional front-end and merchandising positions.
Chris (on the right), happy to get her own picture with the Mayor, concluded, “We are excited about the future of KRA’s partnership with Walmart. In addition to supplying the Fort Totten/Lamond-Riggs Supercenter with a steady pipeline of qualified candidates, we are already discussing recruitment strategies to support Walmart’s next DC-based enterprise, the Skyland Town Center retail-residential complex planned for 2016, from the Grand Opening and beyond!”