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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Madera County Workforce Investment Board

Panda Express Restaurant

Customer Photo

Workforce Challenge

In November 2009, Panda Express, a popular Chinese fast-food chain, planned to open a new location in Madera, California. The closest existing site was in Fresno, about 20 miles from Madera. Due to transportation issues, it was not cost-effective for many unemployed to drive that distance to merely complete an application. For convenience sake and in order to prevent foot traffic at the construction site, the employer decided it best to partner with a local One-Stop.

Workforce Solution

The Madera County Workforce Development Office collected and screened applications based on the employer's specified job descriptions. WDO staff then contacted viable applicants and scheduled interviews, which were held in the Executive Conference Room of the Madera One-Stop. On the day of the interviews, the Panda Express team was given a list of applicant names with the corresponding job opening and, to ensure a smooth and orderly process, applicants were escorted to the interview room.

Outcomes & Benefits

"The [WDO] team was incredibly efficient and organized in helping us source, pre-screen and set up interviews with applicants," says Elizabeth Hollendoner, Senior Human Resource Manager for Panda Express. The streamlined hiring process not only saved Panda Express many hours of legwork, but also connected this employer with several great applicants, who were subsequently hired as both hourly team members and management associates.

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