J.B. Hunt is partnering with the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas on a diversity and inclusion initiative that aims to impact the transportation and logistics industry and to address industry challenges.
The Lowell-based transportation company has committed $2.25 million toward the project. Of this total, J.B. Hunt will provide an incremental amount of $1.5 million to the University of Arkansas and the company will reallocate $750,000 earmarked for the J.B. Hunt Center of Excellence.
“The transportation industry has changed so much in the last decade that fresh, innovative thinking is necessary for developing modern solutions,” J.B. Hunt president and CEO John Roberts said in a statement. “Through this collaboration, we will help educate and promote the value of an inclusive workplace, one that respects the individual and creates a welcoming environment for all ideas, values, and beliefs. It will also ensure that we remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, ensure the safety of all employees, and better the communities we serve.”
Two funds have been established that will guide the direction for the diversity and inclusion initiative. The J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Inclusion Education and Thought Leadership Fund, which will receive a $1.25 million contribution, is designed to promote a “diverse educational environment” by addressing the challenges and difficulties faced by those from underrepresented backgrounds in the supply chain management field. The second fund is the J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Sustainable Supply Chain Management Research, Innovation, and Education Fund, which will receive a $1 million contribution, and it will advance “educational pursuits that pertain to sustainable business practices” and foster engagement with industry professionals to tackle environmental, social and corporate governance issues.
“It’s difficult to find many companies that have made this type of investment in and on behalf of future leaders. However, the leaders throughout J.B. Hunt are committed to the growth of their people because they understand that those people will innovate business models and mechanisms that will keep the company ahead of its competition,” Matt Waller, dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, said. “And while many Walton College students will go on to work for J.B. Hunt, many others will lead in other companies. So, J.B. Hunt’s willingness to innovate stretches far beyond its walls and impacts the entire economy. That’s visionary innovation at its finest.”