Tyson to Vaccinate Thousands of Iowa Workers This Week; Names New COO

Tyson has 13,000 employees in Iowa, where they now have priority status in vaccination eligibility as of Monday.

A Tyson Fresh Meats plant stands in Waterloo, Iowa, date not known.
A Tyson Fresh Meats plant stands in Waterloo, Iowa, date not known.
Associated Press

Tyson Foods announced Monday that it will offer free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to thousands of its frontline workers in Iowa facilities this week. The vaccinations are co-coordinated with local health departments in the state, where food processing workers now have priority status in vaccination eligibility.

Tyson said it expects "many" of the company's 13,000 Iowa workers to be vaccinated during events throughout the week at or near Iowa company facilities in Columbus Junction, Council Bluffs, Independence, Perry, Sioux City, Storm Lake and Waterloo.

“We’ve been working with Matrix Medical, Hy-Vee and health department officials across Iowa to prepare for this moment and we’re ready,” said Tom Brower, Tyson Foods senior vice president of health and safety. “We’re pleased to offer our team members convenient access to the vaccine, and we appreciate the state of Iowa recognizing the essential role they play in feeding the world.”

The Springdale, AR-based company said that more than 2,000 of its US employees were recently vaccinated at onsite events or through an external source, including about 800 workers at its Joslin, IL beef plant over Feb. 19-20.

Besides Iowa, other vaccination events are planned this week for Tyson workers in Wilkesboro, NC, Albany, KY and Noel, MO.

A week earlier on Feb. 22, Tyson announced that it is making organizational changes that are "designed to improve operational agility, customer experience and speed of innovation to market, ensuring that all businesses are well-positioned to adapt to a dynamic environment."

Tyson said that each of its four business segments will be equipped with necessary resources and structure to enable quicker response and innovation at the speed of the markets they serve. Customer sales will be embedded with each of the business segments to intensely focus on customer needs and more quickly deliver on them.

Alongside that, Tyson said it has named Donnie King as its new chief operating officer, where he will lead and enable the changes needed for operational excellence and continuous improvements. He will also continue to be the Tyson group president of poultry.  

“We must simplify and focus our structure to facilitate faster operational decision making, and we must remove obstacles to provide an unmatched customer experience,' King said. “This is part of an ongoing process of aligning resources around our business segment structure to ensure Tyson Foods is able to meet customers’ needs where they are and in real-time.”

More in Safety