Choptank Transport recently awarded $24,000 to 18 qualifying employees through its 2020 student loan paydown program.
The company says it now has issued a total of $87,000 through the three-year-old program.
When Choptank launched the paydown program in 2017, few employers boasted a similar offering. According to a 2018 survey by the Society of Human Resource Management, only 4% of the nation’s workforce offered the benefit.
Now, in 2020, a new study shows the number has doubled to 8%, which still is a small percentage considering national student loan debt is up to $1.6 trillion owed by 44.7 million borrowers.
Many of Choptank’s employees are college graduates saddled with higher-education loans, Choptank said, so the company is doing its part to help unburden them.
“I am so very proud of this program and the impact that it has on our employees,” said Marcia Wood, Choptank’s chief financial officer. “During the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting impact on the economy, we realized that our employees need our support more than ever. While many companies are cutting employees’ pay and hours, we are still committed to providing up to $1,500 annually as a student loan payment benefit.”
And the financial benefit for employees is only part of its motivation for offering the paydown program, Choptank maintained.
“The relief and gratefulness in our employees’ faces are phenomenal to see,” Wood added. “Our employees work hard for Choptank, and constantly strive to provide superior customer service to our customers and carriers. Taking care of our employees is part of our three-legged stool analogy—‘Customers, Carriers, Employees.’”