Thursday, November 10, 2011

White House Honors Tyson Foods As "Champion Of Change"

Poultry company has 3,000 veterans in its workforce, and a commitment to hiring more...
The White House on Wednesday honored Tyson Foods, one of the largest poultry companies in the US, as a “Champion of Change” for their commitment to helping military veterans and their families find jobs, which is the the current focus of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's Joining Forces campaign. Tyson's efforts, led by Russell Tooley, Senior Vice President of corporate and international human resources, has been “extraordinary," according to the White House. (Tooley, above, at the White House)

The Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson employs about 3,000 veterans among its 115,000-member workforce and has committed to adding more over the next year. On Wednesday, Tooley and James David, pricing manager with the company’s consumer products division, attended a roundtable discussion with White House staff on hiring veterans, as part of their "Champions of Change" visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. David was an Air Force Captain and now, in addition to his duties at Tyson, serves as an Executive Officer with the 22nd Air Force Detachment 1 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base. Tooley is a 24-year veteran of Tyson.

“Your presence here represents the best capacity of our country to step up and give back,” said retired Capt. Brad Cooper, Executive Director of Joining Forces.

Tyson's commitment to hire more members of the military is part of an announcement by the The American Logistics Association that its corporate members, including Tyson, have pledged to hire 25,000 military veterans. Tyson regularly makes a concerted effort to hire junior military officers who have received training from an outside agency on how to transition from the military to the business world, according to the White House. The company has close ties to the military: It is one of the leading suppliers of food to the Defense Commissary Agency.

Tyson also provides differential pay for all employees called to active military duty, making up the difference between military compensation and pay they normally receive from Tyson. Since September 11, 2001, Tyson has provided $2 million in differential pay to almost 400 employees, according to the company.

Tyson Foods was one of six organizations the White House recognized Wednesday as “Champions of Change” for their commitment to helping military veterans and their families find jobs. The "Champions" series honors citizens who are making a major difference in their communities.

*White House photo

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