Erin O. Pressley
Employer of Choice
According to NACS survey data, about one in nine
American adults has worked in a convenience store.
More than you would think, right? I admit, the number surprised me. Overall, 11% of adult Americans
say that they have worked at a convenience store or
gas station and 3% of all Americans say that it was
their first job.
Those who had the pleasure of working in a
c-store say that the experience gave them valuable
knowledge in how to work with people, how to manage processes and how to run a business. I remember my first job at Johnson’s Garden Center selling
mulch, flower arrangements and shrubbery. I’m not
sure I can say the same thing about my first experience in the work world.
Convenience store jobs can also help students
successfully afford a higher education and increase
their business success—no matter what career path
they take. Nearly one in three (30%) of those with
c-store experience said that they had the job mainly
while they were in high school and one in four (24%)
say that they held the job mainly in college.
(Incidentally, NACS has a scholarship program for
these high school and college c-store employees—
read our article on page 70, consider nominating
a worthy employee for the scholarship or make a
donation to the NACS Foundation, which funds the
program among other educational opportunities.
The program was created to honor the memory of
industry icon Jim Yates, founder of E-Z Mart Stores
and former NACS chairman. In 2011, a donation
from Altria expanded the program to also honor the
memory of David Erickson, former CEO of Erickson
Across the country, convenience store chains regularly show up on their state “Best Places to Work”
lists. Nationally, two convenience store companies—Quik Trip and Sheetz—have often appeared on
Fortune’s “Best Companies” list of top employers, yet
another positive indicator of how convenience stores
offer quality jobs and have become, for many workers,
an “employer of choice.”
Being an “employer
of choice” means that
you have created a great
working environment and
that the best people want to
work for you. This positive
perception of your brand
helps you attract and retain
staff, which is vital during
a time when exceptional talent is in such short supply—
so basically now.
Employers of choice
offer stimulating work,
reward employees well,
invest in training and
a focus on corporate social
responsibility and ethics,
and provide opportunities
to move up the career ladder. Do you do all that?
The convenience industry is a wonderful place to
work—as you know—but now, more than ever, it’s
important to let your community and your legislators
know that too. Labor issues are bubbling up in your
communities (see page 30 for more) and you’ll be put
to the test. Employers of choice will have the best
chance of survival.
that you have
and that the
want to work