Leidos, parent company of Huntsville-based Dynetics, earlier this year announced that it had instituted a vaccine lottery with up to $1 million to be shared among 10 randomly selected workers who become vaccinated against COVID-19.
Rather than mandating vaccination among workforce, many private sector companies have taken an opposite approach to that of government by encouraging workers to receive the vaccine through incentives and vaccine lotteries.
Of the company’s more than 43,000 associates, one employee at Dynetics was among the 10 workers whose name was drawn in the lottery.
Senior material control analyst Felicia White was presented by Leidos officials with one year’s salary as her financial reward for becoming inoculated against the virus.
Yellowhammer News spoke with White, who noted that while being hesitant toward the vaccine, she said the sweepstakes was inevitably the deciding factor to take the shot.
“I was kind of on the fence from the get-go,” White told Yellowhammer News. “When the sweepstakes came out it was like… I have nothing to lose so if I get vaccinated I can at least have a chance to win something.”
White said she did not expect to be a recipient of the sweepstakes. She also expressed gratitude toward the company for its efforts in encouraging its workforce to become vaccinated against the virus.
“I got vaccinated and entered to win, I think when I entered it was three weeks later when I found out,” she said. “I’m glad I did – I’m really thankful that they offered the sweepstakes in order to encourage people to do it. I was just in pure shock, I never thought anything like this would ever happen to me.”
“Nobody wants to be told that they have to do something,” advised White regarding Leidos opting to incentivize rather than mandate vaccination. “It’s given us an incentive to do it and it makes a big difference.”
Founded in the Rocket City in 1974, Dynetics has made its mark as one of the most prestigious companies nationally offering applied research and national security solutions. It holds a wide-ranging portfolio serving the space and defense sectors as a go-to contractor for innovative services. The company presently employs more than 3,000 people in Huntsville.
Leidos has staked its claim as a globally recognized company, with the firm currently sitting at No. 248 in the Fortune 500 rankings.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL