(Middle Tenn.) — Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has launched a partnership with Hytch, a Nashville-based tech company that tracks and rewards shared rides, to help its employees and clients overcome lack of transportation as a barrier to employment.
Goodwill, a non-profit organization whose mission is changing lives through education, training and employment, will be the first midstate employer to offer its team members direct incentives to carpool using the Hytch smartphone application. Starting in late September, Goodwill employees and Goodwill Career Solutions clients who use the Hytch app, which helps drivers and riders track their daily commute to work, will receive rewards for every mile they travel.
“For many of the individuals Goodwill helps, finding an affordable ride to and from work can be a daily struggle,” said Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee CEO Matthew Bourlakas. “Goodwill’s mission is to help people overcome barriers to employment, and we believe the Hytch app — along with the cash incentives to use it — will make ridesharing a more simple and attractive solution.
“Carpooling helps to reduce traffic on our roads and benefits the environment,” he added. “It’s time we try a new approach that brings people together and leverages technology to build habits that benefit people and the planet.”
Whether they drive or ride along, Goodwill employees or clients and all other users of the Hytch app who carpool to work will be rewarded up to 5 cents per mile during the program’s launch period.
Hytch users are rewarded through a virtual credit card that can be used like cash, or they can arrange to have the funds they earn moved automatically into their bank account. Payouts can be received upon demand by participants after certain mileage thresholds are reached.
Goodwill is no stranger to the mobility problems faced by an entry-level workforce. For the last several years, Goodwill’s Wheels-to-Work program has provided donated vehicles for employees who lack transportation to work. But, every day, thousands of people in Middle Tennessee struggle to find rides to and from work or spend too much money on gas and too much time in traffic.
“Nashville isn’t the only community choking on car exhaust and congestion,” said Mark A. Cleveland, CEO and co-founder of Hytch. “We have a car-centric culture, a car-centric infrastructure and a great opportunity to put two or more people in these cars. Goodwill employees will be the first to experience a revolution in the way leaders view ridesharing incentives as a cost-correct solution to congestion problems.”
About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.:
For 60 years, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. Goodwill's vision is that all people will have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through the power of work. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.
About Hytch LLC:
Based in Nashville, Tenn., Hytch developed the first smartphone application created to defend clean air and defeat traffic with technology and cash incentives. Winner of the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (“MPO”) INNOVATION Award for 2016 and a finalist for the Nashville Technology Council “Innovator of the Year” Award, Hytch offers a free, easy platform for both iOS and Android devices to track and reward two or more people sharing rides in any vehicle. Cities, communities and companies sponsor cash incentives, connecting their brands to geo-defined consumer activity as participants generate emissions credits and earn rewards through Hytch. Passengers earn credit too and can also use the app to pass points over to the driver and contribute to the cost of gas on a voluntary basis. Hytch is a project funded in part by a grant from the State of Tennessee and its co-founders are Mark Cleveland and Robert Hartline. For more information about ridesharing rewards visit www.hytch.me and follow @HytchMe (#HytchMe).