At ICV, our first focus is to build strong partner companies who compete from a position of strength. A critical component of competitive business health is a stable, loyal employee base. Many of our portfolio companies have as the majority of their non-salary employee base ethnic minorities and inner city residents from low to moderate income areas. As such, we developed several dynamic employee initiatives with our portfolio companies. Here are some examples:
Our portfolio companies partner with local banks so employees get vital financial education and access to superior banking services. Offerings include free checking, unlimited transactions, direct deposit, discounted personal and home loans. These programs help employees avoid high fees, check-cashing centers and payday loans.
The ability to speak English is critical for an employee's upward mobility within a company. ICV portfolio company Sterling Foods has an employee base consisting of approximately 85% Mexican-Americans. Sterling sponsors an English as a Second Language program, housed on-site at its San Antonio facility. Local colleges and trade schools run the program through a government grant. Additional learning materials are also made available.
Home Ownership and 401K Savings Plans
Our goal is to create a main stream lifestyle for as many of our employees as possible, complete with savings plans and home ownership if plausible. Our portfolio companies offer educational programs in home ownership and the long term benefits of enrollment in a 401K program to non-salary personnel.