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Walmart DC appreciates community, honor
Chamber of Commerce Large Business of Year
The Walmart Distribution Center and Transportation in Porterville has been in a celebratory mood all year. The largest private sector employer in Porterville capped off 2011 with being named Large Business of the Year by the Porterville Chamber of Commerce.
It was the second such honor for the business since joining the city 20 years ago.
“We are honored to be recognized along with all of the great businesses in the community,” General Manager Kent Delperdang said. “And to be chosen on our 20th anniversary made it even more special to us.”
The Distribution Center was the first of its type in the state and thanks to the investment from corporate headquarters it remains a viable asset. The facility serves 76 retail stores and currently employs 992 employees, many that have been with the center since the start and many that have moved up through the ranks.
“It’s been pretty neat we’ve been fortunate that we’ve had so many associates stay with us,” Delperdang said. “I’m fortunate to have a group like this. It makes my job as a GM and Jeff Hammann, who is in charge of the truck drivers, jobs so much easier.”
On surveys associates given the DC the highest positive rating of any of the company’s other centers across the nation and they consistently rank amongst the top four in safety.
As proud as Delperdang is of the loyalty shown by his team, he’s even prouder of their investment in the area.
More than 25 percent of the employees were physically involved in volunteering in one way or another, Delperdang said. This past year more than 3,300 volunteer hours were racked up by associates to non-profits.
The corporation matched the goodwill with foundation grants totalling $22,000. An additional, $40,000 in financial grants were given to civic, educational and community service organizations.
If this was not enough, a substantial amount of merchandise was donated to organizations to assist with fundraising efforts.
“It’s fun for us and it feels good,” he said. “And when your company is encouraging you to go and do it, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Those that have benefitted by Distribution Center, its associates or the corporation is long and varied; numerous local school programs, the Boys and Girls Club, Fisher House, Porterville Celebrates Reading, Helping Hands, Head Start, local parades, the Chamber, Central California Family Crisis Center, Chem Free Grad Night, the American Cancer Society, United Way of Tulare County, and Children’s Hospital of Central California just to name a few.
“We tend to get really positive feedback for what we do,” Delperdang said. “When we can get involved we do.”
This past fall, the Walmart Distribution Center opened its doors to the community for its 20th anniversary celebration as a way of saying “thank you.”
“We have really had great support from the city over the years,” Delperdang said.
Contact Brian Williams at 784-5000, Ext. 1044, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @b_dubw.