Tyson Foods cares about our workforce

In a recent Editor’s Notebook you asked “who actually cares about our workforce.” I do and so do many others in leadership at Tyson Foods here in Storm Lake.

As an HR Manager for Tyson Foods’ Storm Lake pork plant, it’s my job to support our local team members and work with them and the community daily to provide support and address their needs. I’ve been a Storm Lake resident for almost 20 years, and am proud to have been part of the many programs and initiatives launched by Tyson that have improved the lives of our team members and their families. For example:

We’ve been consistently increasing team member wages. Our current starting production wage is $16/hour and can increase to as high as $19/hour.  In addition, the majority of our team members will be receiving a $1,000 bonus as part of our employee-focused tax savings initiative. We also provide benefits like health insurance, a 401k retirement savings program with company match, stock purchase program with company match, paid vacation and holidays, and a tuition reimbursement program.  

We have more than 20 interpreters at our Storm Lake pork facility alone to make sure we have good communications. Our interpreters are not only available in our facility – they often help facilitate communication at schools, the DMV and other parts of the community.

We provide financial support to team members when it’s needed through our Helping Hands program. We’ve also helped more than 75 Team Members attain their US citizenship in the last two years by providing study guides, materials, and free citizenship classes.  Our Team Members are reimbursed 100% for the application process through our Tyson’s Citizenship Reimbursement program.

Housing is a challenge for some of our team members, and we work with local and state officials as well as developers to support potential solutions. Members of our HR team have helped team members secure housing. There have also been times when we’ve worked with team members to talk to landlords when there are issues with housing.

Last year we gave more than 5,000 lbs. of food to community food banks and pantries, including Upper Des Moines Opportunity and The Lord’s Cupboard of Alta. In addition, we donated almost 5,000 lbs. of food to local schools for football tailgate and fundraising events, as well as local businesses and non-profit organizations.

In short, our team members are the backbone of our business, and we are standing up for them in the best way possible: providing stable jobs and paychecks, developing programs to meet their needs both inside and outside of the plant, celebrating diversity and inclusion, partnering with the Storm Lake community to address challenges, and being as transparent as possible.

JEANETH IBARRA

Human Resources Manager, Tyson Fresh Meats