• Marketing and Communications

J. Polep adopts the VIABILITY way; Chicopee company teams with VIABILITY's training program

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

Welcome to the VIABILITY team, J. Polep Distribution Services. In July, the Chicopee-based company that delivers supplies, grocery and snacks, specialty foods, and tobacco products, partnered with our Business Development team to introduce a new diversity and inclusion program to hire more individuals with disabilities.

The partnership between VIABILITY and an employer partner typically begins with an onsite

observation in which VIABILITY ’s Business Development team learns the job functions,

determines the best employment service to meet the business needs, recruits trainees, and puts the plan into motion in partnership with local VIABILITY programs.

“It’s been awesome working with J. Polep,” said Izzy Williams, Corporate Inclusion Solutions

director/corporate trainer. “J. Polep has really been working to change their culture to make it more positive and they’re following through. They’re very involved.”

Beginning this summer, an enclave of six members ranging in age from late 20s to early 30s

embarked on an eight to 12-week training session. Trainees learned the tote cleaning process, full case sortation for loading, and small kit breakdown/recycling. Throughout their training, participants were evaluated weekly on standards, productivity and expectations of being an employee at J. Polep by an on-site VIABILITY job coach.

Following a successful completion of the program, four participants were offered permanent

employment. A new group of candidates will be introduced to the J. Polep training program every 12 weeks. Additionally, two clubhouse members will work a transitional employment, or TE, position in the shipping office.

“It’s so rewarding to help people with disabilities find meaningful employment,” said Ken Malo, VIABILITY business developer.