Boise-based B and D Foods refugee program can be described as a model for others to be successful

Posted at 4:35 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 18:35:32-04

Boise based B and D Foods refugee program can be described as a model for others to be successful.

Idaho News 6 introduced you to B and D Foods a few months ago when we were in search of the infamous Idaho finger steaks. But B and D Foods has a large number of refugee workers from dozens of countries around the world. The company and it's workers have a very special relationship that benefits them both. According to the companies CEO Tim Andersen, he has seen how it's helped B and D Foods over the past 16 years since he's been there.

"We've had people from all over the world, we have people from thirty different origin countries right now and proudly display their flags," Andersen said. "We celebrate it with pot lucks, and as a matter of fact that leads to rice in every color of the rainbow."

Now only is B and D Foods giving dozens of refugees good job, Andersen points out for many this is their road map to the American Dream.

"We've had people who get their first paycheck on our watch, some people burst into tears recently," Andersen said. "They were so happy to get their first paycheck. And then as they gain proficiency with the English language they have opportunities to move up in the organization and assume more responsibility to be paid more."

One of the ways to make it happen a little faster is by designating certain employees who speak good English as translators and interpreters. One of those interpreters not only drives a fork lift, he has become a valuable member of the team. According to the translator, the fork lift driver speaks three languages.

"I can translate three languages, English, French, and Swahili, I can translate them," said the forklift driver.