MEDIA, Pa. - As companies nationwide continue to report labor shortages, one Delaware County company is offering big incentives to new employees – from stock options to, yes, a free hoagie.
"Growing up in Delco, you could call it my dream job," FOX 29’s Chris O’Connell states.
"Welcome. to Wawa," General Manager Denise Haley greets O’Connell.
Want to learn the Wawa way? I got the chance, spending the day training as an associate at the company’s Media store. In case you haven’t noticed, Wawa is on a massive recruitment blitz, by hiring thousands of new employees in the coming weeks.
"There is so much to expect. Every day is different," Haley explains.
Haley is my boss for the day. Haley started at a Wawa 28 years ago. Now she’s General Manager of one of the company’s growing, soon to be a thousand stores up and down the east coast.
"I mean, I love to interact with the customers. I love to know their story. I love to understand where they come from," Haley remarked.
The first job of the day – the deli. My trainer, Jacob, has worked in 15 Wawa stores in 14 years. He knows how to make a proper shorti.
"This is going to be the top of the roll, here," Jacob explained.
Hoagies are Wawa’s bread and butter.
"We pretty much look at the order and then we go one step at a time. Each sandwich is completely different," Jacob added.
Sandwich consistency is key. Along with speed.
"Number 100! Toasted Italian shorti!" O’Connell calls out.
My next stop – one of the busiest places in the store.
The Wawa coffee station. Associate Lenai Hill trained me on the perfect pot. She’s worked at Wawa six months, but like most employees, she was a customer long before.
"Being an associate now, you see how hard people work trying to provide that sense of happiness and that personal experience when they come into the store with us," Hill commented.
To recruit more workers this spring, Wawa is offering a $500 new hire signing bonus, a $75 vaccine incentive and, yes, a free shorti for every shift. Not to mention employee stock options and career advancement. But, the company is so short-staffed, some stores had to temporarily close.
"Companies who were not employing necessarily a big team are now asking for those employees to come back. So, we are all competing for the same labor," Director of Wawa People Team Operations Stephanie Capaccio stated.
So, if you think you have what they call the "Goose Blood" in your veins, here’s the one quality of every Wawa employee:
"I look for anyone who has great people skills. If you’ve got great people skills, I can teach you anything else inside the business," Haley explained.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP