One of the largest privately held companies in the world, Bosch—global supplier of technology and services—employs 18,000 people in the U.S. Located in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, its Robert Bosch Tool Division and the Bosch Information Technology function, support its North American operations and employ more than 800 people, including corporate functions, accounting, marketing, sales, programmers, app developers and other IT professionals.
The Mount Prospect office is located between the Arlington Heights and Mt. Prospect Metra stops on the Metra UP Northwest Line, and is served by Pace’s Central Road bus line. To connect its employees to Metra, Bosch contributes financially to Pace to make a special stop at the office location three times each during the morning and evening rush hours. An adjacent employer, Roland Packaging, also has staff who take advantage of these special Pace pickups and drop-offs.
Bosch has found that having the option of commuting via transit is critical to attracting talent, particularly for early-career professionals. Questions around the transit benefits provided by the company are regularly raised in in talent interviews, sometimes as one of the first points in conversations. Human resources specialists have learned that younger professionals want to live in downtown Chicago, and without the option of commuting via Metra, “recruitment would be significantly more difficult,” according to Bosch Tool HR Partner Antonia Robinson. In fact, several groups of employees take the 40-minute ride together and enjoy the social component of commuting. Bosch actively promotes the pretax transit benefits during the employee on-boarding process and has a significant number of employees enrolled in the program. More than 10 percent of employees ride Metra to work.
Bosch also operates a large internship program, with up to 100 interns working at this location each year. Drawn from universities in Chicago like Loyola and DePaul, interns often ask about the commute and whether they can reach the office without a car. “There is no way we could have a program this big without Metra,” noted Robinson. The interns are a critical part of the Bosch recruitment process as the company often seeks to hire them, and the act of recruiting on the college campuses allows Bosch to promote its brand to students as they are making early career decisions.
Additionally, as a global company Bosch will sometimes host high-potential interns from other countries or executives on assignment from other global offices. These professionals who are temporarily located in the area frequently seek to live in downtown Chicago and wish to commute via transit.