Jun 23, 2017

Grainger is over 1,000 employees and is still hiring


Excerpted from Janesville Gazette
By Neil Johnson

Grainger’s Wright Road facility is larger in size and scope than most companies in Janesville, and Grainger’s employee headcount is among the largest under one roof in Janesville; it now totals more than 1,000 employees, spokesman Tony Macrito said.

Of those, 650 now work in the call center, servicing customers who order some of the hundreds of thousands of industrial products Grainger supplies to customers.

And the company continues to hire in Janesville.

Operations continues to grow in Janesville, company officials said, in part because the sprawling facility on the city’s east side has effectively become one of Grainger’s three national hubs for customer support.

Over the last year, Grainger has added hundreds of call employees in Janesville as it consolidated call centers from 150 locations across the country to just three.

Under the restructuring, Grainger’s Janesville facility is resetting the plan of attack with new management, continued hiring and a growing emphasis on grooming some existing employees to become members of an expanding team of supervisors.

Part of the interior buildout includes four 16-seat classrooms equipped with 120-inch TVs to train new employees.

Another training room recently had 25 employees in an “emerging leader” seminar for newly promoted Grainger supervisors. Formerly, employees rising through the ranks had to travel to Grainger’s Lake Forest, Illinois, headquarters for weeks of training.

Grainger has ramped up its operations and hiring in Janesville dramatically over the last year while a recovering economy has pushed the local unemployment rate down to 4 percent or lower.

During that time, the pool of available workers has shrunk, and that’s strained some area employers who need to expand.

Contact center director Shaw Mulligan said Grainger’s national call center consolidation has brought some employees into Janesville from far and wide, but he said Grainger’s hiring demand is largely being filled by local people.

“If there’s a hiring strain (in Janesville), I’m not seeing it here,” Mulligan said. “We’re really going forward fast, and I’ve been very happy with the talent in Janesville. It’s kept coming.”

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