Tyson Foods is taking another step in its efforts to become the most sought-after place to work by providing greater access to affordable childcare for frontline workers and their families.
The company plans to build an on-site childcare and learning facility at its new Humboldt, Tennessee, poultry processing plant, and recently announced a program at its Amarillo, Texas, beef plant, to work with two local providers to provide free childcare to the children of second shift workers.
The $3.5 million Humboldt facility, expected to be operational in 2023, will support up to 100 children, five years of age and younger, and employ a staff of 18. Called Tyson Tykes, it will be operated as an early childhood learning center by KinderCare and subsidized by the company to lower the cost for Tyson team members.
A study by Center for American Progress states the national average cost of care for one child in a center amounts to about $10,000 per year, which exceeds what most families with young children can afford. Research also shows children enrolled in early childhood education programs have greater high school graduation rates, increased IQ scores, and higher career earnings, and are less likely to commit a crime as they enter adulthood.
“For nearly a century, ‘care’ has been at the heart of Tyson culture,” said John R. Tyson, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. “These childcare pilots reflect that culture as well as our goal of becoming the most sought-after place to work. Over the past few months, as part of our efforts to recruit and retain frontline team members, we’ve also piloted more flexible work hours, raised wages and benefits, provided $50 million in year-end bonuses and in January, will start providing paid sick leave.”
The efforts are helping improve the company worker recruiting and retention rates.
Tyson’s Humboldt complex, which includes a processing plant, hatchery, and feed mill, currently has a staff of more than 1,000 people but is expected to eventually employ 1,500.
The Tyson beef plant in Amarillo employs more than 4,000 people. The company recently awarded nearly $400,000 to the Wesley Community Center and Maverick Boys and Girls Club of Amarillo to refurbish their facilities to accommodate the children of Tyson team members. The funding will also help provide transportation, increased security, commercial refrigerators, cots, and tutoring. Each facility will support up to 40 children and Tyson expects to invest close to $500,000 to cover tuition for team members participating in the program.
Source: Tyson Foods