The Low-Wage Vanguard
What some employers do to make their lower-rung workers more productive
ARAMARK: The services-contracting company trains employees in conflict resolution and customer service as well as job-specific skills. It offers English classes for hospital and dining service workers. And it has hired 250 former welfare recipients.
CONAGRA: Scores of immigrants fill the meatpacker's plants. To retain them, it provides subsidized child care, prenatal care, and housing. A 100-unit housing project, built by an independent developer, will cut Arkansas workers' transportation costs.
OPRYLAND HOTEL: Employees get free bus service, one free meal a day, and subsidized on-site child care. A company-owned motel houses 300 new hires at subsidized rates while the recruits search for permanent housing.
J.C. PENNEY: Employees who stay at the retailer a year or more prove 20% more productive than newcomers. So Penney aims to boost retention by allowing workers to schedule flexible shifts at different stores, starting in 1998.
Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.