• 54°

Spirit of Rowan: Food Lion strives to reflect community in employment

Stone

Tracy Stone is Food Lion's vice president of talent, diversity and organizational development.  Photo courtesy of Food Lion

Tracy Stone is Food Lion’s vice president of talent, diversity and organizational development.
Photo courtesy of Food Lion

Food Lion’s huge workforce is diverse and inclusive, says Tracy Stone, Food Lion’s vice president of talent, diversity and organizational development. That’s especially important on the retail level.

“We really mirror the communities we operate in,” Stone says.

Store positions make up the majority of Food Lion’s associates across all states, and part-time work is the norm, according to Stone. That gives store managers and employees flexibility, she says.

It’s a misperception, though, to think only of store jobs when one thinks of Food Lion, Stone says, especially here in Salisbury. Some 1,00 people work in the company’s corporate offices off Executive Drive filling a wide variety of positions — jobs in finance, human resources, construction, real estate and much more. It takes a lot of support staff to keep a chain of 1,100 stores going, she says.

Some 775 people work in the company’s distribution center, and then there are the drivers who keep goods moving.

Food Lion is known for career advancement success stories. Antoine Grant, the company’s 2013 store manager of the year, started as a 16-year-old bagger. Tom Smith, who became  president of the company in 1981, also started as a bagger.

The current president, Meg Ham, started in a Delhaize retail management training program.

And long before Stone became a vice president, she started with the company as a part-time cashier. Now it’s her job to make sure that the company attracts and hires the most qualified people and then sets them up for success.

All told, the company has about 66,000 employees. The most difficult jobs to fill are deep expertise roles in information technology, Stone says — a challenge across nearly all industries.

Turnover is a fact of life in retail; it’s not uncommon to have 30 to 40 percent turnover annually, Stone says. There are always jobs to fill. Entry level positions in the stores do not all require a high-school diploma.

The company encourages education through a tuition reimbursement program for full-time employees, a “highly valued benefit,” she says.

Stone has good things to say about Rowan County workers.

“In our opinion, it’s certainly been a workforce that’s met our needs,” she says. Food Lion has found talented and qualified people here, and only a small percentage of jobs require the company to recruit outside the area.

Food Lion is a good place for the person who wants work part-time or someone that wants to make a lifelong career in the supermarket business, she says.

“We are a great company to work for.”

Comments

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18

Coronavirus

County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally

Local

Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate

Crime

Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000

Crime

Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing

Education

Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies

Education

Shoutouts