Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) is helping its team members address the barriers of transportation through Commute with Enterprise, a growing ride-share program that provides team members with a low-cost way to commute to work.
The relationship began last year and has grown to include 26 Tyson Foods facilities, helping more than 1,000 team members and saving an estimated 4 million commuter miles. Enterprise works with each location to develop a vanpooling plan, which involves grouping employees based on where they live and the shifts they work.
Commute with Enterprise provides each group with a minivan, SUV or passenger van, along with maintenance and insurance, while the riders share responsibilities, such as taking turns driving. Participants can save money by sharing the cost of renting the vehicle and gas. On average, it costs between $15 and $25 per week to participate.
"We’re always looking for ways to create a better experience for our team members as many live and work in rural America and face long commute times," said Hector Gonzalez, head of labor and team member relations for Tyson Foods. "This program gives them a reliable way to work while also helping them save money. It also helps offset the impact of higher fuel prices."
"Before the ride-share program, my drive from Winston-Salem to Wilkesboro was about 54 miles, and I spent most of my evenings in the car," said Hazel Tibbs, a Tyson team member in Wilkesboro, N.C. "Now I have more time to do things for myself and exhale from life while only spending $25 per week."
Some plants are taking other measures to assist team members with transportation. For example, Tyson Foods’ facility in Eagle Mountain, Utah, created a car purchasing program by providing team members with three installments of $500 to help them buy reliable transportation. Over the course of 90 days, $1,500 is paid directly to the dealership to support the purchase. Full-time and part-time hourly team members, management support and temporary hires are eligible for the program.
Transportation programs are additional examples of the company’s efforts to become the most sought-after place to work in the protein industry. Tyson Foods has invested more than $500 million in wage increases and bonuses for frontline workers over the past year. In addition, it is piloting subsidized and onsite childcare, as well as seven near-site health centers. Along with providing legal and citizenship support for immigrant team members, the company recently announced it will provide free education assistance for all U.S. team members. An increasing number of Tyson production facilities are also offering more flexible work schedules for frontline workers.
To learn more about the career opportunities at Tyson Foods, visit TysonFoods.com/careers.