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Finding the right areas and the right issues for YOUR company

Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by

Want to increase the effectiveness of your corporate citizenship? One of your first steps should be to determine what is most important to the company. However, deciding upon the specific matters which most closely align with the company’s vision can be daunting. Fortunately, a process exists to aid in making this determination: materiality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Building better leaders for a more sustainable future

Posted on July 21st, 2014 by

Corporate citizenship can advance only when efforts are guided by informed and dedicated leaders—and leadership happens not just at the top of organizations, but from every seat.

That’s why, every year, corporate citizenship professionals from around the world come to the Center’s Corporate Citizenship Leadership Academy, an intensive trimester-long program that aims to strengthen leaders so that they can more effectively engage and influence their colleagues, improve organizational alignment, and broaden support, ultimately increasing long-term business and social value for their companies. Read the rest of this entry »

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IKEA Foundation tackles child labor in India’s cotton communities; long-term holistic approach addresses social, cultural and economic influences

Posted on July 15th, 2014 by

IKEA_Foundation_BLKTen-year-old Tejas was forced to leave school and work in the cotton fields in India alongside his parents to supplement the family’s US $1.67 a day earnings. “It’s very difficult to work in cotton fields,” says Tejas. “My back ached every day. I feared that snakes or spiders would bite me. I wished I could study. My friends used to ask me to go to school with them. I had to work.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Key takeaways: manufacturing companies and an educated workforce

Posted on July 14th, 2014 by

Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is extremely important in building a skilled talent pool for the manufacturing sector. We spoke with three representatives in our July webinar, Manufacturing Companies and an Educated Workforce, about their efforts to build effective STEM education programs.

Scott Hudson, principal manager, social responsibility and community outreach at the Alcoa Foundation, Jennifer Mandel, communications and public affairs manager at Lockheed Martin, , and Michele Walker-Moak, program manager, global community affairs atApplied Materials believe that encouraging interest in STEM fields is crucial for the future of manufacturing companies. They noted that a shortage of STEM-trained talent currently exists, and thus they focus their programs on engaging untapped demographic groups to help fill this void.

Three key themes emerged from our discussion of STEM education initiatives, and our participants shared their experiences with each:

Aligning Programs with Strategic Issues

One of the main themes that arose from our exchange is the significance of aligning educational programs with a company’s overall strategy. Taking this step increases the program’s effectiveness for it allows executives, employees, and other stakeholders to more easily see the value of the investment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s “Manufacture Your Future” off to a strong start

Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by

Alcoa-Foundation-Logo-150x150According to a national survey, less than 20 percent of Americans said that their parents or school system had encouraged them to pursue a career in manufacturing. In response, Alcoa Foundation, the charitable arm of Alcoa, a manufacturing company pioneering the revitalization of the industry, teamed up with their new partner, Discovery Education, in an effort to bridge the industry’s unemployment gap through an online program named “Manufacture Your Future,” which debuted in late May. Read the rest of this entry »

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Manufacturing companies and an educated workforce

Posted on June 25th, 2014 by

Manufacturing companies rely on the knowledge and capabilities of skilled workers to keep their businesses going.  As a result, manufacturers should be, and often are, proponents of programs that encourage education in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

Education has been, and continues to be, an important concern for companies. According to the Center for Corporate Citizenship Community Involvement Index, education ranks as a critical social issue in terms of company community involvement, and has been so for the sixteen years the index has measured company interest. On a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being “least critical” and 5 being “most critical,” education received a score of 4.1 from company respondents. Research also shows a significant connection between particular industries and types of educational programs. Companies in the information, utility, and manufacturing industries placed STEM education and training initiatives specifically among their top three corporate citizenship priorities.

The relationship between manufacturing companies and education initiatives is robust for two reasons. First, the need for skilled manufacturers is currently quite high. As shown in the Manpower Group’s 2014 Annual Talent Shortage Survey, skilled trade jobs are listed first in terms of demand globally, second only to technicians in the Americas. Additionally, according to the Manufacturing Institute’s 2014 Manufacturing Skills and Training Study, 80 percent of manufacturers reported having either a moderate or severe shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production positions. Second, since STEM-related knowledge is an essential part of manufacturing companies’ competencies, efforts in this realm are a natural fit when developing corporate citizenship strategies. Research shows that when companies work to integrate their corporate citizenship efforts with the goals of their business, their employees are more engaged in these efforts and initiatives tend to be more successful.

Manufacturing companies have the ability to impact various demographic groups and implement different types of programs through their education initiatives. For example, companies can engage at all levels of education, from early childhood programs to community college to workforce training. Programs may also choose to focus on specific groups, such as women, who tend to be underrepresented in STEM-related careers. Organizations can also be creative when it comes to the types of support they offer. Companies may provide assistance through monetary donations given directly to schools and educational nonprofits, or through product donation, which can provide access to technology that might otherwise be unavailable. Initiatives can also make use of time and expertise, such as mentoring students or helping educators and counselors understand the skills needed for jobs in the manufacturing sector.

In order to further explore how manufacturing companies use their corporate citizenship efforts to address educational needs, we will hear from three member companies during our July webinar that have experience implementing these programs. The Alcoa Foundation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Applied Materials Foundation all recognize the need for continued support of educational programs, especially those that focus upon STEM. Some highlights of their efforts include:

  • The Alcoa Foundation has multiple educational support programs, from a partnership with Junior Achievement that seeks to encourage high school students in ten different countries to pursue STEM-related careers, to a robotics competition between high school students from the US, Europe, and China that provides a hands-on, exciting, and fun opportunity to engage in technical engineering.
  • Lockheed Martin implements a number of programs such as Girls, Inc., which partners employees with girls aged 9-11 to foster encouragement and build confidence, leading to the pursuit of STEM-related careers, They also partner with Project Lead the Way, the United States’ leading provider of STEM educational services, from K-12 curriculum to educator professional development.
  • Applied Materials began their Education Initiative in 2001 as a localized, targeted program that began in one school to give underserved students better access to quality education.  Their pilot program in San Jose, CA has since expanded nationwide to a number of local communities in which Applied Materials has a corporate presence.

To hear more about these members’ experiences and the important connection between education and manufacturing, please join us for our webinar on July 9, 2014 at 12:00 PM EST. Click here to sign up for the event.

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Creating foolproof partnerships – A relationship management guide

Posted on June 19th, 2014 by

Building a strong, long-lasting relationship with a nonprofit is a great way for your company to engage in corporate social responsibility. In our June webinar, titled “Foolproof Partnerships – A relationship management guide,” representatives from three organizations discussed how to take advantage of existing networks, connect your philanthropy to the core of your business, and engage employees, executives, and customers as you establish a foolproof partnership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Legg Mason supports employee retention through their Global Mentor Program

Posted on June 18th, 2014 by

legg_mason_logoAs companies engage with corporate citizenship, internal policies and programs present an excellent opportunity to address important focus areas such as employee retention. Legg Mason, a global asset management firm, supports employee retention through the Global Mentor Program, an internal mentorship initiative. By matching high-performing employees with experienced members in leadership roles, the program aims to expand the networking skills, leadership training, and company exposure of promising staff members. Legg Mason views the Global Mentor Program as a critical investment in leadership and talent development, having successfully mentored approximately 140 employees since the program’s inception.  Read the rest of this entry »

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