Warehouse Training Program: Food for Lane County offers 12 weeks of hands-on job prep

If you're in need of a job, heads up: Food for Lane County has a new job training program for people looking for warehouse and customer service jobs. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore.- If you're in need of a job, heads up: Food for Lane County has a new job training program for people looking for warehouse and customer service jobs.

The Warehouse Training Program is a 12-week job training program meant to help people get hands-on job training in both warehouse operations and customer service, all while helping Food for Lane County.

Food for Lane County is in its second round of training, with four students leaning everything from order filling to food handling to invoicing.

Some students find the program through partner agencies like Lane Workforce, although it isn't necessary for a participant to join through an agency.

Brandon McNutt, the Warehouse Assistant Manager, says this job training program was a collaborative effort, meant to help people desperately in need of a job find solid work.

"I managed a food pantry before I came here, and I saw the same folks every single week just coming to get a food box. We were helping, but we weren't really helping. It was just a band-aid on a broken arm," McNutt said.

Potential students apply to the program and then go through a short interview process.

Once they're in the program, participants are part of the Food for Lane County team.

"You learn to use the equipment, the forklifts, the power jacks, things of that nature," McNutt said. "And then we get them in a working environment and treat them as a brand new employee and really trying to get them up to speed."

Andy Benham is one of this session's students.

Benham had solid experience, but he found it hard to secure a job. Now, he says he feels optimistic this program will help him find a job.

"I feel like I'm helpful. You know, you come in and get started in places and feel like you're off to the side, watching...but I got right in. I'm moving things, and giving people their food, and talking with folks, and learning stuff....and it's great!" Benham said.

Participants finish the program with an OSHA-approved forklift certification, a Food Handler's permit, and a new resume and cover letter courtesy of the Goodwill Jobs Connections program.

To apply for the Warehouse Training Program, visit Food for Lane County's website.

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