Valvoline honored by Goodwill for job creation

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
By Aaron Johnson

For more than two dozen people, a partnership between Goodwill and Valvoline Instant Oil Change has meant a chance for steady employment.

Those efforts, through which Valvoline in Bridgeport made hires through four different Goodwill job assistance programs, led to the company being named the 2015 Employers of the Year Award by Goodwill.

“It’s amazing,” said Tom Megna, community employment liaison for Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut . “People want to work. They want jobs and they are willing to work hard.”

Valvoline started with mostly part-time workers, but also filled some full-time positions through the programs, each of which has a specific target, including summer youth programs for interns, people without prior work experience and other job placements programs.

The relationship began in June 2015, according to Megna, and throughout the tenure Valvoline has hired candidates that have come through the program in several locations throughout the region, including Bridgeport and Milford.

“It’s great,” said Andrew Anton, district manager of Valvoline. “Since then we’ve had close to 30 candidates.”

Tom Veilleux, operations manager for Valvoline, said the company has a history of collaborating with other agencies. “We do have history with other programs. Anything like this we jump right on,” Veilleux said. “We’re very focused on being an active force in the community.”

Valvoline has been able to keep a foothold their communities by hiring many local residents, including ex-offenders trying to get a second chance in the working world. According to Megna, Valvoline’s has been “incredibly accepting” of ex-offenders through the programs.

By simply “allowing them a chance,” Megna, of Goodwill, said Valvoline should be praised for setting an example for other employers in the area, adding that people who have come through the program and earned jobs have performed well.

Veilleux said that the infusion of workers hired through the Goodwill partnership have created a “whole culture inside the store.” But the real driving force of the collaboration has been to create jobs while being able to give people a chance to break into the work force.

“It’s had a positive impact on us at Valvoline,” Anton said. “It’s someone giving them an opportunity and being able to make some careers.”

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