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JBS employees are shown Tuesday afternoon following the announcement that the company and its workers had pledged $100,000 toward this year’s United Way of Nobles County fund drive. (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

JBS donates $100,000 to United Way

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WORTHINGTON — The newest JBS pledge total to United Way of Nobles County has hit the six-figure mark.

A group of JBS representatives, including administrative staff and department heads, gathered Tuesday at the facility for an announcement of this year’s company donation total — an all-time high of $100,000. The figure represents a significant chunk of the United Way of Nobles County’s current fundraising goal of $160,000.

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JBS employees’ contributions to United Way have ballooned significantly over the years on the way to the $100,000 mark. In 2007, $40,500 was given to the organization, and the charitable giving has continued to grow every year.

“Our employees are incredibly generous, but what has made most of the $60,000 change are the incentives that the company offers,” said Jenny Anderson-Martinez, JBS’ human resources director.

Last year, JBS employees raised $95,485 for the charity by offering such incentives as VIP parking and gift cards for gas and groceries. This year, the company offered a new local food incentive to employees to encourage them to donate. A total of 248 JBS workers participated in the incentive, which allowed them to get a free buffet meal from Pizza Ranch for pledges at a particular level.

The top solicitor for the company was Victor Rodriguez, who works in the night load department. He was recognized for his department donating the most toward United Way, as each participating employee pledged an average of $132.63. Rodriguez was rewarded with a $50 gas card.

Other top departments for contributing to United Way were also congratulated and presented with awards Tuesday. Of the entire facility, 81.2 percent of JBS employees participated this year — raising $96,364, or about $800 more than last year. Additional money was donated by the company to achieve the magic $100,000 mark.

United Way of Nobles County representatives were also in attendance at the event. The organization will award funding to 21 agencies during this fiscal year.

“I’m blown away each year by the money JBS employees raise and how much they’re willing to give back to their community,” United Way of Nobles County Vice President Ryan McGaughey said. “With their efforts, JBS employees are making a considerable difference, and we thank them for their remarkable dedication to our fundraising effort.”

“The amount of participation by the employees is not only huge for JBS, but also for Nobles County,” said Allison Heidebrink, JBS’ human resources coordinator and a United Way board member.

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Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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