St. Charles company subsidizing employee commute to offset high gas prices

Natoli Engineering Company started a Gas Assistance Subsidy program, leaving employees to pay just $3 a gallon for gas used during their commute.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:58 AM CDT
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV) - A St. Charles business is helping ease the pain for its employees at the pump, unrolling a gas assistance subsidy program.

The program offers employees a subsidy on gas expenses related to their commute. The company measures how far an employee lives from work and employees see a weekly return on their paychecks.

“We really wanted to do something to help support them so we had to be a little creative,” said Dale Natoli, President of Natoli Engineering Company.

At first, Natoli considered gas cards.

“We figured that wasn’t exactly fair because some people live a few miles from work and others live 30 or 40 miles away,” he said.

So, they settled on the subsidy program. For example, if an employee lives 30 miles away, they drive 60 miles round trip daily, totaling 300 miles per week. The company looks at the average weekly price of gas and rounds it to the closest .25 cent increment. Therefore, the employee’s gross subsidy amount would be $18.75 for the week.

“I travel around 60 miles round trip every day, drive an F-150, a big engine, 5.4, swallows quite a bit of gas,” said Almir Basad, an employee. “They don’t have to do it, a lot of companies don’t, but they do because they care about their employees.”

Natoli said the program won’t be in place forever, but he hopes it’ll be an incentive to both retain and recruit employees.

“The question is how can you not afford this,” said Natoli. “You have a great work staff, you want to mitigate their hardship as much as possible so we don’t see it as an expense we see it as a benefit.”

On average, an employee will bring home around $15 to $20 per weekly paycheck. It adds up when prices are on the rise, employees said.

“It helps people out, it’s tough to have that extra money you’re paying out without an extra income coming in to make up for it,” said Tim Starks, a Natoli employee.

The program will likely cost the company around $300,000 Natoli said, but that cost is small in comparison to the cost of recruiting, onboarding and training new employees.

“It doesn’t cost, it pays,” he said.