Loblaw earns spot on Canada's Top Employers for Young People ranking

Canada's largest grocery retailer recognized for colleague initiatives

BRAMPTON, ON, June 2 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), Canada's largest grocery retailer, has been named one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People for 2010. This award is in recognition of the Company's innovative efforts to provide youth with training and skills development to build the foundation they need to be a productive part of the workforce.

"At Loblaw we are proud to be recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People," said Judy McCrie, executive vice president, human resources, Loblaw Companies Limited. "This award is a testament to our commitment to being a great place to work and we continue to look for new and innovative programs to help colleagues at our stores, offices and distribution centres reach their full potential."

Through innovative programs, Loblaw has created a supportive work environment that provides colleagues with the resources and tools they need to help build and strengthen their career. This includes scholarships, tuition reimbursement, training and development and colleague engagement programs.

One example of a unique training program is the grad@Loblaw program. Launched in 2009, grad@Loblaw is an 18-month paid rotational program for recent university and college graduates. Graduates are hired as full-time salaried colleagues and work in various store management positions, or at the corporate level in merchandising, supply chain and other departments.

Through this program, graduates have exposure to a number of different areas giving them a holistic view of the Company and how the grocery industry works. Loblaw is committed to hiring 1,000 graduates into the program from 2009 to 2013, in an effort to build an additional pipeline of future talent. For more information about the grad@Loblaw program, please visit www.loblawgrad.ca.

"One of the things I like most about the grad@Loblaw program is the chance to experience different areas of the business from stocking shelves to merchandising to being a part of a store management team," said Celia Pizzanelli, grad@Loblaw graduate, Loblaw Companies Limited. "I have had the opportunity to work with colleagues from different departments and levels, giving me a unique perspective of the grocery retail industry and what makes Loblaw such a success."

Among the initiatives that helped Loblaw earn its place on Canada's Top Employers for Young People include:

    
    -   Scholarship Program: Loblaw offers post-secondary school scholarship
        programs in each region for colleagues and family members entering
        full-time study at an accredited Canadian university or college. In
        2009, more than 200 individuals received awards ranging from $750 to
        $5,000. Colleagues and their family members must meet certain
        requirements as outlined in the application process.

    -   Tuition Reimbursement: For colleagues wishing to extend their
        studies, Loblaw offers a tuition reimbursement program to support
        career development and growth and provide colleagues with the skills
        and knowledge they need to progress their careers. Colleagues must
        meet certain requirements as outlined in the application process.

    -   Training and Development: Loblaw operates 14 Learning Stores across
        the country where store colleagues are trained in all corporate store
        departments. Learning Stores are fully equipped store models that act
        as training hubs for learning new skills and helping colleagues
        excel. The Loblaw Virtual Learning Centre (LVLC), an online portal,
        provides colleagues with instant access to courses and materials such
        as job aids and training manuals. The LVLC is a great opportunity for
        colleagues to develop new skills to move up the job ladder.

    -   Colleague Engagement: Twice every year, more than 100,000 colleagues
        complete a confidential survey titled tell it as it is. The survey
        allows colleagues to provide feedback about their current role, their
        manager and the Company. Once the survey analysis is complete,
        results are shared with colleagues. Colleagues are then given the
        opportunity to participate in survey action planning teams to address
        concerns and move great ideas forward. Loblaw also created Ask Galen,
        an online forum that encourages colleagues to email executive
        chairman, Galen G. Weston, to voice their opinions and concerns about
        the business. Colleagues have the option to remain anonymous and
        responses are issued within seven business days.
    

Being a great place to work is one of five Loblaw corporate social responsibility pillars that shape the way Loblaw approaches business. The other pillars include Respect the Environment, Source with Integrity, Make a Positive Difference in our Community and Reflect our Nation's Diversity.

Launched in 2001, Canada's Top Employers for Young People competition is organized by the editors of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. The competition recognizes employers across Canada that offer exceptional workplace environments and programs of interest to young people starting their careers in the workforce. This special designation also recognizes corporations that lead the nation in attracting and retaining younger employees in their organizations.

Employers are evaluated based on the following criteria: (1) Benefits such as tuition assistance and the availability of co-op or work-study programs; (2) Employer mentorship and training programs, including benefits, such as bonuses paid when employees complete certain courses or professional designations; (3) Career management programs; (4) Average age of employees at each employer to better understand the composition and profile of their workforce.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ over 138,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian customers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice(R), no name(R) and Joe Fresh Style(R) brands. In addition, the Company makes available to customers President's Choice Financial(R) services and offers the PC(R) points loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information: For further information: Public Relations Department, Loblaw Companies Limited, pr@loblaw.ca, or (905) 459-2500


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