Tyson Foods announced today that it is strengthening its commitment to immigrant team members by investing an additional $1.5 million to provide free legal and citizenship services.
The company has now invested more than $2.4 million during the past two years to support partners like Immigrant Connection, a non-profit organization that provides immigrants with legal services, such as employment authorization renewals and petitions for citizenship.
Since 2020, the company has doubled the legal services offered to U.S. team members, helped more than 500 Tyson team members with their citizenship status and counseled over 2,500 team members in need of legal services. Tyson Foods has also spent millions of dollars providing ESL and citizenship classes through Upward Academy.
As a result, the National Immigration Forum recently awarded Tyson Foods the “Keepers of the American Dream” award at its Leading the Way Conference in Washington, D.C. The award goes to leaders and organizations making their community and country a better place for immigrants.
“I am thankful to Tyson Foods and the Immigration Partnership Program. I am now an American citizen, proud to be able to vote for the first time in a country I lived in and called my home for the last 12 years,” said Johanna Söderström, executive vice president, chief people officer, Tyson Foods. “This is a wonderful benefit available to all Tyson team members and their family members.”
“Tyson Foods has supported me and my family for nearly nine years; giving us jobs and benefits we could never dream of,” said Paw Lar, Tyson Foods Clarksville, Arkansas team member. “I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and didn’t know what to expect when we got to the United States. After going through the immigration program at Tyson Foods, I finally feel like I belong somewhere and I’m extremely proud to be a U.S. citizen.”
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.
The company has also 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.
“Nearly 20 years ago, I had the pleasure of supporting newly arrived refugee employees at a Tyson facility in West Virginia as a refugee resettlement practitioner,” said Jennie Murray, Chief Executive Officer, National Immigration Forum. “Since then, including with today’s announcement, Tyson Foods has continued to be one of our nation’s most welcoming and inclusive employers of immigrants and refugees. We are thrilled to honor Tyson Foods with the Keepers of the American Dream award for their innovative work and to continue to promote their best practices.”