FreshDirect Wants To Hire Bronx Residents Before Opening New Facility
FreshDirect is hiring and if you live in the Bronx, you have a leg up in grabbing one of those 200 jobs. It's part of the company's strategy as it prepares to call the borough home. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
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Before FreshDirect moves to the Bronx, it said it wants to put some residents of the Bronx to work at its current location in Long Island City.
"The hope is that we can bring people from the Bronx to our Queens facility," said FreshDirect CEO Jason Ackerman. "We make the move, it's an easy transition for us and for our employees."
The company is building a 350,000-square-foot headquarters at the Bronx Railyard. It will be about 75 percent larger than its current facility, allowing the company to consolidate its business into one building.
Ackerman said he'll hire 1,000 more employees for the Bronx site, with no limit to the number that are from the borough. He said they'll make above living wage. The average salary of FreshDirect workers is $12.20 an hour.
"They needed the space and we had it and we needed their jobs and we're going to get them," said Marlene Cintron, the president of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.
Ackerman said that being a part of the community is important to him. That's why he said his company is making an earnest effort to be a good neighbor by running the business with a fleet of electric or partial electric trucks and biodiesel-fueled vehicles, with plans to convert to natural gas with a filling station on site, to name a few things.
"We're going to build what will be probably the biggest rooftop greenhouse," Ackerman said. "We want to grow our own produce, which would be literally zero carbon footprint."
Ackerman said part of the company's good neighbor policy is a pilot program to let low-income families pay for its products with food stamps. It's now being tested in the Port Morris, Mott Haven and Morrisania neighborhoods.
"One of the things they're saying here is that they want to start a fresh food initiative in the low-income community," said Phillip Morrow, the president of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. "Their clientele is typically not a low-income family but this is an effort they think, as they come to the Bronx, that they'd like to start."
FreshDirect plans to begin operation of its Bronx facility in 2014. To learn about jobs with the company, visit their website at freshdirect.jobs.