Shipbuilders get paid to exercise at USMI - - The News for South Mississippi

Shipbuilders get paid to exercise at USMI


Imagine being paid each day to exercise and the professional trainer comes to you at work. That's what's been happening at United States Marine Incorporated in Gulfport for a year now.

Alicia Anderson has been a personal trainer for 20 years. But this is the first time company owners have paid her to work-out their staff five days a week at absolutely no charge to employees.

"No employer has ever come to me and said, 'Hey, come train my employees,'" Anderson said. "I think it's fabulous."

U.S. Marine employees think it's pretty great, too. Not only is it free for them, but it's part of their work day. As they pump iron, they're still on the clock. Teresa Roberts appreciates this big perk, tremendously.

"It is definitely a huge benefit," Roberts said. "I've lost right around 60 pounds and it's made a huge difference in my life."

Building America's fighting vessels is extremely important and can be quite stressful. Mechanical Engineer Ricky Harris said this is a great daily stress reliever that makes him a lot more productive.

"Yes, very much," Harris said. "Even though I'm a little exhausted afterwards, but my mind's more at ease whenever I'm trying to work. I can't express how much I appreciate it."

He and other employees say USMI President Barry Dreyfus treats them all like family.

"Oh, I think Barry's awesome," Teresa Robert said. "This is just one of the ways that he shows how much he cares about us."

They say he gives them all the help they need to be happier and healthier.

Barry Dreyfus put down the weights for a minute to say, "One of the values of USMI is family. It's caring relationships and we want our family to be healthy."

Personal trainer Alicia Anderson said, "The overall package. If you're healthier, your stress is down. If you're not sick, you have no sick days, it's just a win-win for everybody."

This free daily exercise class has been going on at USMI for a year now and has been such a success, they plan to continue it.

Dreyfus said sick days are down and so are insurance costs. But most importantly, it's been great for his staff mental and physical health.

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