LEAP Program Structure
An 18-month rotational Leadership Development Program designed to groom high-potentials into future managers at UniFirst. As a cohort, Associates will be exposed to a blend of leadership education, operational knowledge, and hands-on business experience within the industrial laundry and facility services industry!
Virtual and In-person Classes
Continuous learning is at the core of the LEAP Program.
Associates rotate through cycles of classroom and online training at various UniFirst training locations.
In-person classes are facilitated by the Program Manager, Executive Leadership, and field experts.
Online learning may consist of interactive self-studies, readings, blogs, Ted Talks, and virtual classes via Skype or video conference.
Operational Area Experience
Hands-on experience is the best way to learn!
Perform the key responsibilities of the Team Partners who would work for you to better understand their challenges when you become a manager.
You will also learn and execute the managerial tasks in each of the operational areas.
Learn and practice Leadership
Theory and Practice helps you discover leadership techniques to apply to real world situations.
Use critical thinking skills, good business management practices, and techniques to engage, empower, and develop your team.
Capitalize on the industry experience of our current leaders who facilitate leadership sessions and make themselves available for informal discussions.
Personal development is as important as professional growth.
Developing interpersonal skills, enhancing both written and presentation capabilities, understanding and refining your Emotional Intelligence, engaging and motivating others, and using critical thinking tools are all interwoven into the learning environment of LEAP.
Featured LEAP Associates
Learn from current LEAP Associates why this program is a Big Deal.
“UniFirst has made me feel like a Big Deal since day one because their support and generosity is unreal. This is a company that truly encourages you to advance in your learning while providing you with the necessary tools to grow personally and professionally.”
San Antonio, Texas
“As a LEAP Associate you are provided with mentors and colleagues who are there to help you through the challenges you will encounter on your journey to success. Every day I wake up excited to work with the Team Partners at this amazing company!”
“I researched other management trainee positions during the recruiting process with UniFirst and let me be the first to tell you that is not what the LEAP Program is about. With LEAP, I am being taught every facet of the business. From being shown the Distribution Center in Kentucky to learning from the Executives in Massachusetts. The LEAP Program is a Big Deal for UniFirst and you’re a Big Deal for being a part of it.”
“UniFirst makes me feel like I am a part of a revolutionary program that would change the direction of how they train their future managers. In this program, we have been given the dynamic opportunity to be cross-trained in all segments creating a holistic view of the company, which is a Big Deal in fast tracking your development process.”
Charlotte, North Carolina
“The culture of the company has really stood out to me. Everybody I’ve shadowed has been very transparent and willing to help me with my experience. The Team Partners at my location have been very inviting and it feels like a family here.”
Charlotte, North Carolina
“The LEAP Program is a Big Deal! For me, the best part of the program would be the option to go into any department you prefer. Through this program you will see so many different positions and how they correlate with one another. As someone who enjoys change, the program has been so eye-opening.”
San Antonio, Texas
“Something that stood out to me during my time in the LEAP Program is the tenure at UniFirst. At our location, there is a customer service representative who has been with the company for 35 years and an RSR (route driver) who has been with the company for 40 years. This tenure says a lot about the culture at UniFirst. We truly are a family here and it is a Big Deal .”
Charlotte, North Carolina
“I have always prided myself in maintaining and establishing a good relationship with my customers. Being in the LEAP Program, I got professional training, smart mentors, and serious customer service skills. At UniFirst our customers are for life and a satisfied customer is the best source of advertisement.”
“Getting to meet and learn from some of the company’s top leadership team has been such a huge privilege and has been beneficial in helping me to reflect on myself and how I can help lead the company to further success in my future here. The culture of the company in general is supportive and has a family feel - despite being such a large organization. I have always been excited about coming to work, as I know I am part of a network of people working together for the success of the company.”
Whippany, New Jersey
Hear from some of the current LEAP Associates in the Leadership Development Program.
Next LEAP Training Locations
We are excited to announce our next LEAP Leadership Program training sites.
Our Cleveland location was ranked as UniFirst’s #1 Plant in fiscal year 2018!
Home to 110 UniFirst Team Partners this location provides exceptional service to over 3,700 customers!
With a focus on culture and a tight-knit family feel, you can find the Cleveland team celebrating company anniversaries and birthdays, having quarterly pancake breakfasts with their General Manager, and hosting a food truck for hitting safety milestones!
If you aren’t sold on the culture yet, the most tenured Team Partner at this location has been with the company for 30 years!
Our Fort Worth location is the largest revenue producing Plant within UniFirst!
While maintaining its family culture, their primary focus is on the customer - all 3,800 of them!
This location is honored to have 10 Veterans and four President’s Club winners among their 150 UniFirst Team Partners! Not to mention, that the longest tenure for any Team Partner here is 43 years.
Yes, that’s right, 43 years of service!
*President’s Club: Award for achieving outstanding sales performance goals.
Our Nashua location has won UniFirst’s Bronze Safety Awards two consecutive years in 2016 and 2017.
Servicing 3,800 customers, this plant is home to 119 UniFirst Team Partners!
A diverse setting, you will hear at least four languages being spoken including English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese.
Come spring there will also be ESL classes offered to those who are interested!
Among the many Team Partners, the longest tenure at the Nashua plant is 48 years!
Our Philadelphia location has a very diverse and family-oriented culture. Many of the 133 UniFirst Team Partners at the plant are from the local area and have bonds that started as early as childhood!
Bragging rights include two Team Partners who have been with the company for over 40 years and eight Veterans!
With a keen sense of community, this location takes part in giving programs such as Raising a Reader, adopting families for Christmas, among other local charities. Always ready to lend a helping hand to someone in need, the Team Partners at this location pride themselves on treating one another with respect.
Our Vancouver, British Columbia, plant is home to 122 UniFirst Team Partners and services over 3,100 customers in the area!
Among the Team Partners, the longest tenure at this location is 31 years!
With a customer focused accountable culture, they exemplify UniFirst’s founding core values: Customer Focus, Respect for Others, and a Commitment to Quality.
A believer in giving back, you can find the team volunteering at local soup kitchens.
How Does LEAP Work?
This is a full-time 18-month Leadership Development Program for high potentials seeking a career in management. Upon successful completion of the program, Associates can expect an offer in several entry- to mid-level managerial roles at any of UniFirst’s 250+ locations!
But first, what is your path to this leadership opportunity?
Click below to learn more.
Potential Associates can expect to take part in a rigorous interview process which includes a paid customized UniFirst Experience job shadow at a training location and the opportunity to interview with the Executive team!
After all, we are only seeking the best and brightest to lead the way!
During the Program
Once accepted into this high-touch program, as a cohort, Associates will:
Rotate through four operational cycles including:
- Business Management
- Gain hands-on experience in each operational area.
- Train with experienced Managers.
- Partake in action learning projects that directly impact the business.
- Participate in meetings with the Program Manager to receive feedback, mentorship, and personalized development.
- Reconvene at a UniFirst training location each rotation for an in-depth understanding of our history, core values, and culture while learning from Executive Leadership.
- Rotate through four operational cycles including:
For the duration of the LEAP Leadership Development Program, Associates will be offered a competitive base salary with a comprehensive benefits package.
This includes health and dental insurance, 401K with company match, profit sharing, prescheduled vacation time, and then some!
So, what does a managerial opportunity look like with UniFirst?
One of our main requirements for joining LEAP is the willingness to relocate upon successful completion of the program. Then Associates will have the opportunity to pursue entry- to mid-level managerial positions throughout the organization.
These roles may include, but are not limited to:
- Production Manager
- Assistant Production Manager
- Stockroom Manager
- Route Service Supervisor
- Route Service Manager
- Office Administrator
- Sales Manager
- and more!
Please note, we will be accepting applications for the next LEAP Cohort at the beginning of 2020!