The Coastal Packet: Forbes features LL Bean

Thursday, March 26

Forbes features LL Bean

Forbes - The [LL Bean] workforce is a diverse one, particularly for Maine, where the population is 95% white. More than 40 languages are spoken in manufacturing, according to McCormick. There are workers with origins in the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Somalia, among others, cutting and sewing alongside born-and-raised Mainers, who make up the bulk of the company’s employees.

It’s also a relatively old group, with a median age of 48. ...The company goes out of its way to recruit older workers, particularly for its seasonal factory and warehouse positions, when it relies on retirees seeking some extra cash. About 60% of the 5,000 extra shift workers who come on board each August for the crucial holiday season return every year. Bean has advertised for these temporary gigs by pointing out that the 25% to 40% employee discount can be used toward gifts for the grandkids.

The pay isn’t bad, either. The average hourly worker earns between $32,000 and $35,000 annually. This year all 5,300 of Bean’s full-timers will get a 5% boost in their pay from company profits, amounting to between $1,500 and $2,000 apiece.

A staggering 21% of L.L. Bean’s employees have been with the company for more than 20 years.

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