Bendix
The Huntington plant opened in 1980 with 30 employees and is currently an evolving and expanding 855,000-square-foot complex that includes Bendix’s primary North American distribution center.

Five Good Things: Employee appreciation

June 7, 2024
Love’s provides employee education benefit, a new TCA Highway Angel is named, Bendix celebrates safety, Chevron employees focus on conservation, and Pitt Ohio named positive work environment.

The trucking industry this week showed appreciation for its hard-working employees for safety, heroism, and much more. Read about how the industry showed this appreciation in this week’s Five Good Things.

Please pass along good news for our weekly Five Good Things blog by email or through our LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter accounts.

Love’s launches tuition-free employee education benefit

Love’s Travel Stops, in partnership with Guild, is now offering eligible U.S.-based full- and part-time team members access to tuition-free education and skill development through a new learning program called “Fuel Your Growth” through Guild. Love’s is the first travel stop operator to offer a company-funded tuition assistance program through Guild.

“When we make the decision to hire someone, we intend to support them from the day they are hired until they retire,” said Les Thompson, chief human resources officer of Love’s. “By investing in the growth of Love’s talented team, we meet them where they are in their learning and development journey while eliminating prohibitive cost barriers. Guild’s comprehensive and industry-leading opportunities align with our culture, and we are proud to continue to lead the way in benefits and career opportunities.”

“Fuel Your Growth” will be available to team members after approximately 30 days of employment, provided they are in good standing with the company. The Guild Career Opportunity Platform will help team members visualize their growth and begin their learning journey by mapping a career path. The available education and skilling programs are designed for working adults and help employees balance work and learning simultaneously.

“A program through Guild aligns with my goals of furthering my education, which is important because it broadens my skill set and fosters creativity and innovation, which allows me to contribute fresh ideas and perspectives in my Love’s career,” said Jacquie Stamps, IT portfolio management analyst for Love’s. “Love’s investment in my continued education is a personal commitment to my growth and signifies the company values me not just as an employee but also as an individual.”

Through the Guild platform, team members can complete high school and undergraduate degree programs, participate in boot camps, obtain certifications, and expand their connections with others through language learning classes. Additional resources are available, such as career services, one-on-one coaching support, and more.

“We’re honored to partner with Love’s to help transform their workforce, address the talent needs of their business, and support their employees on their learning and career journeys,” said Terrence Cummings, chief opportunity officer at Guild. “Love’s stands out as an industry innovator, thinking big about how to harness opportunities and foster mobility within their workforce through a skilling strategy built for all employees.”

Truck driver named TCA Highway Angel for helping crash victims 

The Truckload Carriers Association has named truck driver Richard Morrell, 50, from Plano, Texas, a TCA Highway Angel for stopping to help drivers involved in a head-on collision late at night on a Texas highway. Morrell works for ABF Freight out of Ft. Smith, Arizona.

On May 16, around 12:15 a.m. in Jefferson, Texas, Morrell was traveling northbound on Interstate 59 when he came upon the wreckage of two cars involved in a head-on collision.

“It was beyond horrible,” Morrell said. “I was first on the scene, and there was wreckage everywhere.”

Both drivers were severely injured and pinned in their vehicles. One vehicle had an injured passenger as well. Morrell called 911 to report the wreck. He then stayed to help the drivers, and several others stopped to help as well. Eventually, emergency personnel were on the scene, and a helicopter landed to transport victims from the accident. The conditions of those involved in the crash are unknown.

“It was horrifying,” said the 15-year truck driver who spent more than three hours on the scene. “But we have to help each other—I’ve always helped—I’ve always stepped up.”

Bendix celebrates a year of accident-free operations in Huntington

More than 500 people work at the Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems campus in Huntington, Indiana, with dozens of jobs handling all aspects of manufacturing and distributing thousands of Bendix components daily. And in every position at every level, safety is the top priority, as evidenced by the collective achievement of 365 days without a recordable injury.

“This is an incredible milestone for everyone across our four facilities, and it’s only possible because of their continued efforts, commitment, and constant engagement at all levels of the organization,” said Eric Meehan, managing director of operations at Bendix Huntington. “And that’s really what has set Bendix apart in its safety journey; this establishment of a world-class culture built on safety as a core value of every person who works here.”

Bendix credits stable communication as part of this safety achievement. 

“A safe workplace doesn’t just happen,” said John Adams, Bendix Huntington’s health, safety, and environment manager. “Everyone here regularly contributes to our preventive and corrective measures, whether they’re involved in one of our Walk & Talks where we go around and conduct safety audits, using emergency work orders to identify unsafe conditions, or submitting ideas called Quick Kaizens for safety improvements. And every single employee is empowered to use their ‘stop-work authority’ any time an at-risk situation occurs.”

Walk & Talks occur with varying frequency at all levels, driving leadership to engage employees in focused interviews based on specific hazards associated with the areas where those employees work. By encouraging employees to provide insights on hazards they notice and to offer input on addressing those risks, Bendix reinforces individual investment in the larger safety culture.

“Twice a day, operators will have ‘See, Say, Do’ meetings with leads and supervisors, one after the first break, and one after lunch, where we aim to refocus our mindset on safety and share information relevant to the job,” Adams said. “We’ll talk about any potential hazards spotted and what we can do to fix them, and a lot of the time it turns into a casual conversation about safety. And these are small groups, so when we talk about the types of progress we’re making, we’ll also consider whether there’s anything we can share with other areas that may be having similar issues.” 

This observation, communication, and correction cycle can fuel a culture shift.

“At the leadership level, we’ve worked hard to do a better job of sharing with the employees how we address their concerns,” Meehan said. “But really, I can’t express nearly enough gratitude to the teams on the floor and their commitment. Without their deep, ongoing engagement and their efforts prioritizing safety, none of this would be possible.”

See also: Kenworth offers newest Bendix Fusion safety system

Chevron's partnership aims to conserve Pecos River

Jonathan Harshman remembers visiting the Pecos River watershed for the first time and feeling awestruck.

And it wasn’t only the area’s natural beauty that affected him. He also saw things like Leon Springs pupfish swimming in their only natural habitat.

“It was just inspirational and amazing to witness,” said Harshman, a Chevron public and government affairs advisor.

Chevron is also helping the region restore and sustain its health by supporting the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative. This public-private partnership aims to restore and maintain the health of the Pecos River, its tributaries, and adjacent grassland habitats in the Permian Basin.

The 900-mile Pecos River runs from the forests of northern New Mexico to the drylands of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, where it joins the Rio Grande. It’s home to fish and other animals that don’t exist anywhere else. The PWCI exists, in part, to strengthen the health of these habitats.

Founded in 2017, the PWCI comprises energy companies and public entities seeking to conserve the environment. The initiative strives to:

  • Protect the last remaining populations of fish and aquatic species found in the Pecos River and the Chihuahuan Desert region
  • Improve the health of existing habitats along the river
  • Address water scarcity and quality
  • Find ways to bring species back to areas where they’ve been lost and to build up existing populations

Chevron’s support of the PWCI goes beyond sponsorship. The company’s employees volunteer their time and share their expertise to help the initiative succeed.

For example, on Earth Day 2024, volunteers from Chevron planted native salt grass at the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge to help support water and soil conservation within the Pecos watershed.

“There are some really beautiful and special places that serve as a habitat for wondrous creatures in this area,” Harshman said. “It’s neat to be able to help conserve those for future generations.”

Pitt Ohio celebrates positive work environment with top workplace win in Cincinnati

Pitt Ohio was recently named a 2024 Top Workplace in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Top Workplaces program is based solely on employee feedback from a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage.

“We are incredibly honored to be recognized as a Top Workplace in Cincinnati,” said Brad Caven, VP of operations at Pitt Ohio. “This award wouldn't be possible without the dedication and hard work of our exceptional team members. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all our Cincinnati employees for making Pitt Ohio a great place to work.”

Pitt Ohio’s Cincinnati terminal provides a range of transportation services including less-than-truckload and supply chain solutions. The terminal employs over 155 people and serves customers across various industries.

About the Author

Jenna Hume | Digital Editor

Digital Editor Jenna Hume previously worked as a writer in the gaming industry. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree in creative writing from Truman State University and a master of fine arts degree in writing from Lindenwood University. She is currently based in Missouri. 

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