NEWS RELEASE: The Kroger Co. Receives the Champion of Inclusion Award from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

header for media release with Kim Jump

(COLUMBUS, OH)–Today, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) announced The Kroger Co. as the 2020 Champion of Inclusion Award winner for their commitment to the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the workplace, and for being a leader of diversity and inclusion best practices in Ohio. The award honors companies that have hired at least five OOD job seekers during the one-year evaluation period and have also met specific criteria that demonstrates their level of diversity and inclusion practices for individuals with disabilities in the workplace.

“Kroger is an exemplar and leader employer of individuals with disabilities,” said OOD Director Kevin Miller. “They set an example for other businesses looking to increase diversity and inclusion of Ohioans with disabilities in their workplace.”

Kroger has collaborated with OOD for several years to increase employment opportunities and job retention for people with disabilities throughout its grocery stores and distribution centers in Ohio. Over the past year, Kroger has hired 217 OOD job seekers. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroger took the initiative to create accessible communications to ensure the health and safety of its associates with disabilities.

“We thank Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities for acknowledging Kroger’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief people officer. “Across the country, Kroger employs more than half a million associates from different races, cultures, lifestyles, and abilities. Being the leading company in our home state for providing uplifting career opportunities to individuals with disabilities is a prestigious recognition of our inclusive employment practices and dedication to our purpose to Feed the Human Spirit."

OOD’s Employer Partners of Inclusion Awards are a significant part of OOD’s annual business recognition program and highlight Ohio companies committed to providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. There are four levels of awards: Champion, Platinum, Gold, and Silver. At each award level, employers must meet certain diversity and inclusion criteria.

OOD also recognizes the following Ohio employers for their commitment to providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities: 

  • Platinum Award: Advance Auto Parts, FedEx, Giant Eagle, OhioHealth, The Ohio State University and OSU Wexner Medical Center, and Walgreens.
  • Gold Award: Aramark, Bob Evans, Cleveland Clinic, InfoCision, Janitorial Services Inc., KeyBank, Levy Restaurants, MaritzCX, Meijer Inc., Mercy Health, Procter & Gamble, ProMedica/Heartland - HCR ManorCare, Sodexo, Speedway, Staffmark, Startek, and Teleperformance USA.
  • Silver Award: Amazon, Incept Corp, and University Hospitals.

Congratulations to the OOD Employer Partners of Inclusion Awards winners. OOD offers its sincere gratitude and appreciation to all employer partners for their commitment to establishing and growing a culture of diversity and inclusion in the Ohio workplace for individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit OOD Employer Partners of Inclusion Awards.

About OOD

OOD is the state agency responsible for empowering Ohioans with disabilities through employment, disability determinations, and independence. www.OOD.Ohio.Gov  

About Kroger

At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.