Partnering with Commercial Employers

QWE Practice Guideline: 310: Partner with organizations and peers in the local community

Target group: Any organization employing and/or supporting individuals with disabilities

Practice Description

A partnership was developed with Safeway to provide hands on training, assessment, and increased employment opportunities.

Resources Needed

Subject matter experts/trainers

  • Staff from the partner location to provide training and appropriate equipment


  • For the Safeway partnership: cash registers, shelves, product



  • Beacon Group began by reaching out to Safeway to establish a strong business partnership and layout the details of a training model
  • Safeway then set up a mock grocery store within the Beacon Group facility, which included
    • Shelves stocked with Safeway products
    • Two checkout lanes, complete with cash register, conveyor, and bagging station
  • For individuals interested in working as a courtesy clerk, the mock grocery store provided a training center and opportunity for Beacon to assess skill and aptitude levels
    • Soft skills and some technical skills could be worked on as well even for those not interested in grocery store employment
    • Training is continued until an individual is ready for employment


  • SOPs
    • Policies and procedures for operating a training program, including facets specific to working within a Safeway or grocery store
  • Training
    • For staff that will be supporting and providing the training


  • This training model allows for a smoother transition from training to employment and minimizes the time that a job coach is needed
  • Safeway has a pool of capable and well-trained individuals from which to hire

NPA: Beacon Group
Location: Tucson, AZ
Date Submitted: 2011