Michael Wood, Managing Director, Education & Workforce
The Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) believes in the importance of family-friendly workplaces. In partnership with PNC Bank, the DRC was proud to launch The Best Place for Working Parents® Dallas, a local partner of The Best Place for Working Parents® national initiative, in 2021. The initiative recognizes and promotes family-friendly workplaces through a proprietary business self-assessment that compares an employer’s policies and benefits to other companies of similar size and industry.
In this ongoing series, the DRC will feature companies from the Dallas Region whose support for working parents goes above and beyond the 10 policies recommended by the program.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center has prioritized strengthening its family-friendly policies in recent years. Despite being a mid-size nonprofit, the Bush Center has committed resources to offer industry-leading benefits for its working parent employees, earning them their first Best Place for Working Parents® designation this year.
“Taking care of our employees has always been a priority for myself and our leadership team. We are a nonprofit with around 80 people who are fiercely committed to the mission and values that guide our work. And we are loyal to our employees. Our benefits package reflects the company’s standards and priorities,” said Ken Hersh, CEO and President of the Bush Center.
In 2021, the Bush Center introduced a monthly stipend to help with the cost of child care for its working parents. The benefit provides up to $4,800 a year for all Bush Center employees, regardless of tenure, for eligible dependent care arrangements for children not old enough for school district pre-K programs. Families with children above pre-K but younger than 12 can receive a $300 annual reimbursement for the cost of summer camps, afterschool programs, or similar opportunities. The Bush Center also offers a pet care stipend for those with furry friends at home.
Supporting their working parent employees has always been a priority of the Bush Center —especially coming out of the pandemic.
“We have a young workforce with growing families,” Hersh said. “We want to support them with stressors outside of work, so they continue to give their all at the office.”
To that end, the Bush Center provides eight weeks of fully paid parental leave for both new mothers and fathers, with an option to extend leave up to 12 weeks using paid time-off accruals. All new parents may also leverage four weeks of transitional leave, allowing them to readjust to the office by working a limited number of days each week prior to their full return from leave.
Additional benefits include an organization-wide week off during the summer, recurring surveys and focus group sessions to capture employee experience and policy recommendations, and manager-driven flexibility to enable working parents to organize their work schedules around other obligations.
Ultimately, the Bush Center hopes their investments in family-friendly supports results in a positive return-on-investment via long-term retention rates among its working parent staff members. Beyond that, however, Hersh sees short-term value in maintaining a great company culture.
“We are working to promote a culture of sustainability,” Hersh said. “Family-friendly policies are just one tool to help us retain and recruit our talent and advance our mission.”
Learn more about Best Place for Working Parents® Dallas and complete the business self-assessment by visiting the DRC website. The self-assessment can be completed in under three minutes and immediately notifies employers if they are eligible to receive the designation by comparing their family-friendly policies to those of similarly sized companies in the region.