United Way, Universal Fibers join to launch employer childcare program
November 16, 2022
Abingdon, VA (November 16, 2022) - Universal Fibers and United Way of Southwest Virginia have teamed up to launch a new program aimed at helping retain current employees and attract new workers by offering contributions for childcare costs.
UWSWVA announced the Employer-Sponsored Child Care Benefits program in July of 2022. The program is designed to help bring sidelined workers back into Southwest Virginia’s manufacturing workforce by helping pay for childcare. UWSWVA utilized a grant from GO Virginia to start the program, with three private foundations helping match employers’ commitment over the next two years.
“Access to childcare in Southwest Virginia is one of the top concerns of not just our organization, but our region as a whole,” said Travis Staton, President, and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia. “We believe that breaking that childcare barrier is the best way to invest in our children and strengthen our workforce by bringing back those employees who need quality childcare.”
Universal Fibers is the first company in the region to pilot the program, launching on October 1, 2022. The program is offered similarly to an employee’s health insurance, offering an additional benefit to help retain and hire new workers. The Genan Foundation has contributed $110,000 initially, helping cover half of the cost for employees, with Universal Fibers matching the other half for the first two years.
“We’re so excited to be partnering with United Way and GO Virginia on the Dependent Child Daycare Pilot Program,” said Rick Nunley, director of Human Resources for Universal Fibers. “Though still in development, we are impassioned by the opportunities this program brings for growth at Universal Fibers, including the doors it opens for retention and recruitment. We are driven by assisting our associates in any way we can, and we hope that this becomes an integral part of our benefits moving forward.”
Three additional employers, Lawrence Brothers in Bluefield, Paul’s Fans in Grundy, and Speyside Bourbon Cooperage in Atkins are also signed on to pilot the program in the coming months.