Building on its ongoing sustainability and social responsibility efforts, JBS USA today announced plans to invest $5 million to help Greeley respond to needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and invest in the community’s future.
The investment in Greeley is part of a new, national $50 million initiative called Hometown Strong that adds to commitments JBS USA has made this year to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the global health crisis. JBS USA is partnering with local officials and community leaders in Greeley to determine what is needed most.
“We take great pride in feeding millions of American families every day,” said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO. “We play an essential role in our local community and in maintaining the nation’s food supply, but we also embrace the important role we have to be a good neighbor. Colorado has faced a tremendous challenge during this pandemic, and we hope our investment can help ensure that our hometown remains strong.”
Hometown Strong is one of the largest community investment programs of its kind in the country. JBS USA anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 60 meat, poultry and prepared foods plants and employing 62,000-plus people. Funds will be directed to every community JBS USA calls home.
“A hallmark of capitalism, at its best, is when businesses reinvest in the communities in which they do business,” said Greeley Mayor John Gates. “I appreciate the investment JBS is making in Greeley to not only benefit their employees but the community as a whole. I would also like to specifically thank the employees at JBS who have served to provide food for our nation.”
Donations will help alleviate food insecurity, strengthen long-term community infrastructure and well-being, and support COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts. All funds will be committed by the end of the year.
JBS USA employs more than 5,000 people in Greeley, paying more than $38 million in taxes and investing nearly $122 million in the state of Colorado over the past five years. The beef production facility supports more than 175 local producers, paying them more than $2 billion per year for their livestock.
A long-standing community partner, JBS USA has responded to previous community challenges, donating more than $500,000 to Weld County flood relief in 2013 and donating more than $1.8 million to the United Way of Weld County over the past five years. The company has been recognized as ‘Company of the Year’ by the United Way of Weld County twice in recent years, including in 2019 when the company and its team members raised more than $406,000 for the non-profit, charitable organization.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak in the Greeley community, the company has invested more than $10.6 million in bonuses and $5.5 million in wages for its Greeley beef team members. JBS USA recently increased wages at Greeley to an $18 per hour base rate and an industry-leading top wage rate of nearly $25 per hour. Industry average wages are less than $14 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The company also removed more than 330 team members, or 10% of the workforce, from the Greeley facility who were identified as a part of the vulnerable population, providing full pay and benefits. The policy has resulted in an investment of more than $2.6 million to date by the company.
Across the United States, JBS USA responded to the global coronavirus pandemic with investments of more than $100 million to enhance safeguards for team members and nearly $100 million to reward them with thank-you bonuses and increased wages. This includes hiring more than 1,000 new team members to conduct additional, around-the-clock sanitation and cleaning services, and to provide education, training and enforcement of COVID-19 preventive measures.