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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Secretary Newson: DWD and Regional Workforce Partners Assist United Natural Foods Incorporated as Employer Expands, Adds 220 Jobs

STURTEVANT – During a visit today at United Natural Foods Incorporated (UNFI) in Sturtevant, which is opening a new distribution center, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson said DWD stands ready to help growing employers like UNFI find the talent they need to fill job openings.

UNFI plans to create 220 jobs at its new distribution center, which scheduled to start shipping products from the site in mid-June. The company worked closely with the Racine County Workforce Development Center and its partner organizations to recruit qualified workers.

"The company recognized early that DWD and our workforce partners are committed to help expanding employers like UNFI recruit the talent they need to succeed," Secretary Newson said. "From co-hosting informational sessions to organizing recruitment events like job fairs, DWD and our regional workforce partners will work hard to assist employers in communities across Wisconsin."

UNFI has received well over 1,000 applications, interviewed over 500 candidates and hired over 100 candidates to date. UNFI is a wholesaler of natural, organic and specialty products. Its largest customer is Whole Foods Market, while other customers include more conventional supermarkets including the Safeway and Kroger chains and independents.

Secretary Newson met with UNFI managers during today's visit and learned that the employer recently began working with business service consultants from DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to hire individuals with disabilities.

"DVR consumers have much to offer employers and are at the center of Governor Walker's declaration of 2014 as the Year of A Better Bottom Line, and we are pleased UNFI is actively working with us on future recruitments," Secretary Newson said. "We encourage all Wisconsin employers to connect with workforce partners, including DVR's network of 20 business service consultants that formed last year to engage employers."

Governor Walker proclaimed 2014 as the Year of A Better Bottom Line to highlight successful operations thanks in part to the contributions of people with disabilities, while urging other employers to consider an often overlooked skilled and capable workforce.

DVR assists over 17,000 individuals with disabilities, and in fiscal year 2013, it helped 3,840 consumers achieve their employment goals. These newly employed individuals are projected to earn $66.3 million annually, more than double the taxpayer investment in their services.

Racine County Business Services Team: http://www.wdc.racineco.com/BusinessServices.aspx

For more information: DVR services: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/

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