Crawford House residents are not the only ones who benefit from the employment program; employers are pleased with the partnership as well. Nancy Chen, human resource manager for ShopRite in Montgomery, speaks highly of employees from Crawford House. “I have worked here for one-and-a-half years, and in that time we have hired 15 to 20 women from Crawford House,” she says. “We hired many more before I started working here.”

Chen considers the partnership to be beneficial to employer and employee alike. “I know the women are trying to get to a better place, and I want to help them along so that they can move on and have better employment opportunities and better lives.” She adds that she knows the women are required to make money and hold employment as part of their treatment program, and she likes to help them with that goal. “I enjoy seeing them grow and become more confident, and develop better employment skills.”

In return, says Chen, “ShopRite gains extra associates that we can rely on. We really need the extra help, especially during busy times like the holiday season. They are reliable, come early, stay late, and work hard.”

The women from Crawford House apply for positions just like any other applicant and receive the same wages and have the same duties as any other employee. She noted that while not everyone at ShopRite knows about the partnership with Crawford House, her department managers know and are supportive of the program.

According to Chen, many Crawford House residents continue to work after graduation and end up as full-time employees. She tells the story of one employee who is a former Crawford House resident: “She was promoted from cashier to customer service, and helped out a great deal during Hurricane Sandy. She came in early, stayed late, worked extra shifts, and is leaving because she now has a job with a local government agency involved with Hurricane Sandy relief. She was a very good worker, and I am sorry to see her go.”

Says Chen: “I am very happy for her, and sad for myself.”

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