Estes Express Lines is making a multi-million dollar investment in its most valuable asset—its employees—through the implementation of The Estes Care Package.

“As the largest privately held freight transportation carrier in the nation, Estes believes its smartest investment for a long-term future is in our extended employee family,” said Rob Estes, president and CEO. “The outstanding work of the Estes teams, increased business levels in 2017, and recent tax law changes provided us the perfect opportunity to thank our employees in a significant and meaningful way.”

The Estes Care Package consists of four different employee-focused programs to be implemented quarterly in 2018: Our Thanks, Our Future, Our Team and Our Heart.

The first component of the program, Our Thanks, launched on March 13 with a bonus check given to all current Estes employees, who were actively employed as of December 31, 2017.

Our Future expands its existing scholarship fund for children of Estes employees attending a university or college. The enhanced scholarship program has amended guidelines that provide greater access and availability, with no limits on the number of annual scholarships awarded.

Our Team and Our Heart focus on the caring nature of employees by helping Estes employees and communities in times of need. Our Team provides for an employee assistance fund, giving employees grants to assist them in rebuilding their lives after devastating natural disasters and/or personal hardship.

“The generosity of our employees, as evidenced most recently with the money, time and talent that employees donated to help their fellow teammates during last year’s hurricanes, served as the inspiration for the employee assistance fund,” said Estes.

In addition to the company’s significant charitable contributions, Our Heart sets aside funds that enable employees to direct donations to national charitable organizations that mean the most to them.

Webb Estes, vice president of process improvement, also announced the company’s investment in a next-generation, multi-city disaster recovery system, advanced driver technology and route optimization programs—all of which optimize efficiency and enhance customer service.

“Ensuring employees have a steady, uninterrupted paycheck is another responsibility we take seriously,” said Webb Estes, vice president of process improvement. “Our investments in disaster recovery programs and other technologies help us keep our freight moving safely and efficiently for our customers.”