Kwik Trip’s ‘Retail Helpers’ Now Working in 75% of Stores

The program gives disabled people a job and experience.

May 21, 2020

LA CROSSE, Wisc.—Kwik Trip has reached a milestone with three-quarters of its 600-plus stores employing retail helpers—all people with disabilities, according to a news report from a local TV station.

In 2013, the La Crosse, Wisconsin-based chain launched its Retail Helper program through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). The objective is to help people with disabilities prepare for and find work. Kwik Trip started with about 40 Retail Helpers, a number that has grown to more than 500.

A Retail Helper’s basic job functions include maintaining a positive store image, monitoring cleanliness and maintenance needs, ensuring superior customer service and assisting with essential functions, such as stocking, unloading and filling coolers.

“At Kwik Trip our mission statement is to treat others like we like to be treated and make a difference in their lives,” said Joalyn Torgerson, program coordinator. “There is no better way to do that than to make a difference in the life of an individual with a disability, and they make an impact in all of our lives with their positive attitudes and hard work ethic."

The company program has been recognized by numerous community organizations, including the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation.