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J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. of Lowell said it would give $2.25 million in grants to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for programs to increase diversity, inclusion and sustainability in the supply chain.
The money will go to the university’s Walton College of Business’ department of supply chain management. The first grant of $1.25 million will create the J.B. Hunt Inclusion Education and Thought Leadership Fund, which will be designed to promote diversity by providing support for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
A second grant of $1 million will create the J.B. Hunt Sustainable Supply Chain Management Research, Innovation and Education Fund. This fund will be used to promote research into more sustainable business practice and interaction with industry executives on environmental, social and corporate governance issues.
“The transportation industry has changed so much in the last decade that fresh, innovative thinking is necessary for developing modern solutions,” J.B. Hunt CEO John Roberts said. “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.”
J.B. Hunt was one of the companies to take the Northwest Arkansas Council’s leadership pledge in June to commit to combating systemic racism in the region.
“It’s difficult to find many companies that have made this type of investment in and on behalf of future leaders,” Walton College Dean Matt Waller said. “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.
“J.B. Hunt’s willingness to innovate stretches far beyond its walls and impacts the entire economy. That’s visionary innovation at its finest.”