New Flyer of America Inc., the world’s largest maker of city buses and tourist buses and the largest manufacturing employer in Calhoun County, Alabama, recently launched a Community Benefits Framework (CBF), defining its commitment to inclusiveness in workforce development and hiring.
CBFs are compacts that companies enter into with their workforce and community representatives to ensure fairness in hiring, safety and environmental stewardship.
New Flyer, based in Winnipeg, Canada, has a major bus assembly plant in Anniston, Alabama that employs 700 workers.
New Flyer’s parent company, NFI Group Inc., entered into New Flyer’s 2020 CBF in partnership with the Transportation Diversity Council, a New York City-based non-profit specializing in community-based partnerships.
“New Flyer remains committed to ongoing career development for people of all walks of life, including veterans, women, people of color, people with differing abilities, and underrepresented and underserved individuals in the field of advanced manufacturing,” said Chris Stoddart, president of New Flyer. “We delivered nearly 140,000 hours of training to our team in 2019 — but training alone is not enough. We recognized a more holistic approach was needed to support the well-being of our team and communities, and appreciate the greater compliance, accountability and action that comes from our CBF. We are proud of this work, and our partnership with TDC.”
Negotiations between New Flyer and the Transportation Diversity Council were challenged by Alabama minority groups shortly after it was announced that a CBA was being worked out, following Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 20.
A letter from the Alabama Coalition for Community Benefits, which includes Greater Birmingham Ministries, the Alabama NAACP and Jobs to Move America, asked New Flyer to negotiate its CBF with the group. However, the company went on to complete its CBF with the Transportation Diversity Council.
New Flyer’s most advanced product line of heavy-duty transit buses are the Xcelsior and the Xcelsior CHARGE brands, which incorporates the broadest range of drive systems available, including diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, trolley-electric, battery-electric and fuel cell-electric.
It opened its Vehicle Innovation Center in Anniston, Alabama in 2017. The center’s mission is to advance bus and coach technology through sustainable research and development, innovation, progressive manufacturing and bold thinking. It has a number of interactive exhibits, simulation and hands-on experiences at its facility.