MillerKnoll launches pilot program offering free transportation to work

ZEELAND — No car, no problem.

That’s the idea behind Wheels to Work, a cost-sharing program through the nonprofit Hope Network of Grand Rapids, designed to provide employees with reliable and affordable transportation to get to work, no matter whatever the shift.

MillerKnoll has become the latest West Michigan employer to launch a pilot program with Wheels to Work. This decision is part of a broader move towards flexibility for employees during a nationwide staffing shortages.

Continued:West Michigan employers continue to battle staffing shortages

“A few years ago we started exploring different options to attract talent in a non-traditional way, and we knew that there were employees who might not be able to apply due to transportation issues,” said Paula Perkins, head of talent acquisition. at MillerKnoll.

“We actually piloted Wheels to Work back then, but it never really gained traction. Back then, it was just a different market. But over the last six months, the work market has been so difficult in terms of attracting and retaining talent. We wanted to be more creative with our outreach and find a way to stand out, so we thought now would be a good time to refresh this pilot and try again.”

Over the past week, a handful of third-team riders have joined the program.

“It’s the change with the most job openings and the most turnover, and it’s pretty traditional,” Perkins said. “These schedules aren’t easy for everyone, and if you’re looking for transportation, resources are limited. We wanted to help our people, whether they have a car in the shop or their commute to the work is not always reliable Right now it’s about retaining our workers.

MillerKnoll in Zeeland on Thursday 11 February.  The company is the newest on the lake to pilot a partnership with Wheels to Work.

But if the pilot goes well, Perkins would like to see the program expand to more facilities and shifts in Holland and Zeeland, then Spring Lake and Muskegon. Eventually, Wheels to Work could bring talent from Grand Rapids to the lakeside.

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“Then we would really move on to promoting this resource to attract talent,” she said.

To join the program, employees apply and coordinate pickup times and locations. Companies receive a report and contribute to the cost of transportation. MillerKnoll has chosen to cover all costs for the duration of the pilot project – and possibly beyond.

“That way it’s a benefit for our employees,” Perkins said.

MillerKnoll isn’t the only company using Wheels to Work, but it’s one of the first by the lake. Apart from MillerKnoll and Tyson in Zeeland, most participating employers and recruiting agencies are headquartered in Grand Rapids.

Wheels to Work is just one of the ways MillerKnoll takes care of its workers.

“Every employer needs to be looking to be more creative right now,” Perkins said. “We’ve created a part-time evening shift, we’ve added weekend shifts. We’ve personalized the employee, to some extent, and those alternative schedules help fill in the gaps in production. “

Learn more about Wheels to Work at ridewheelstowork.com.

— Contact journalist Cassandra Lybrink at cassandra.lybrink@hollandsentinel.com. Follow her on Instagram @BizHolland.

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