A family-owned, Chicago-based business founded in 1912, Testa Produce employs 226 employees who process and deliver fresh produce. The company has maintained its location in the City of Chicago so that employees have easy access to their jobs. Currently located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, the company has always sought locations within the city limits.
The produce business is very time sensitive, with orders being made and filled nearly 24 hours per day “It’s critical that employees can get to work easily and reliably,” says Testa Produce President Peter Testa. “For a company that relies on trucks to ship our produce, we rely on transit to help move our people.” Ensuring staff can make it to their shift is a critical part of providing reliable deliveries to many restaurants in Chicago.
Employees are much more likely to come to work—even if weather is bad—if they are close to work and have transit available. While some drive, it is important for the facility to be accessible by transit to provide transportation redundancy so workers have options if a car is not available.
When employees have shorter commutes, it is easier to retain them, notes Testa. Many employees have tight schedules, such as single mothers who work part time, and parents who work opposite shifts from their spouses to ensure continuous childcare. Testa works hard to create a good work environment in order to retain employees for many years, and a transit-accessible location is part of that.