Tyson Foods has committed more than $1 million to support its many team members who are immigrants to the United States. The company’s U.S. based workforce is comprised of team members from more than 160 countries and collectively speak more than 50 languages. The Tyson Immigration Partnership (TIP) helps provide these team members with legal services and acquire U.S. citizenship. The program, which has been supporting seven Tyson facilities over the past year, will now serve 40 company locations in 14 states.
Tyson Foods works with Immigrant Connection and, in the company’s home state, Arkansas Immigrant Defense, both of which are non-profit groups that help provide immigrants with legal services, such as employment authorization renewals and petitions for citizenship. In the last year alone, the program has helped more than 500 Tyson team members. Tyson reimburses team members for citizenship application fees, which for an individual can be as much as $725.
“We care about our team members and want to help them achieve their goals, including those who have dreams of becoming U.S. citizens and having greater access to opportunities our country has to offer,” said John R. Tyson, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer, Tyson Foods. “We’re working hard to help team members who want and need assistance with their lawful immigration status or the complex and expensive process of becoming a citizen. We want to be the most sought-after place to work, and this is one way we hope to do that.”
“Starting the process to become a citizen was intimidating and scary, but I wanted stability for me and my family. Without the people involved in the programs, I would not have the confidence to pursue citizenship,” said José Avjix, a Tyson team member in Green Forest, Arkansas. “Tyson is a place that keeps you growing and I really appreciate the professional and personal growth the company offers.”
Immigrant Connection is hosting monthly informational meetings for Tyson team members at 27 company locations across the country and Arkansas Immigrant Defense is visiting 13 locations in Arkansas.
Tyson Foods has historically attracted immigrants because it provides good-paying entry level jobs with benefits. With average hourly pay of more than $18 plus the value of medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation and other benefits, the average total compensation for hourly team members has increased to more than $24 an hour, or an annual value of more than $50,000.
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. An increasing number of Tyson production facilities are also offering more flexible work schedules for frontline workers.