General Motors’ charitable fund recently announced its largest donation ever – $27.1 million through United Way to improve Detroit’s lowest performing high schools and to help prepare very young children for kindergarten. That’s what I call a great investment in the community where you work.
Two of our clients, Henry Ford Health Systems and Wayne State University have also joined other local institutions and community leaders to work on a number of projects with a goal of attracting 15,000 new young professionals to live and work in Detroit by the year 2015. What a great idea!
I mention those two strong examples of corporate citizenship because they underscore one of the core values of our own organization. As we say in the Our Community section of our website, “Powerlink recognizes that companies can only be as successful as the communities that surround them and the people that work for them.”
Powerlink is a successful company, and one reason for that is the positive impact we have on our clients’ facilities. We are also creating opportunities for the people who work here. But that’s not everything. We want to make a difference in the lives of people in the cities we are in, and that means providing strong educational experiences for young people.
As someone said, “Money will stop you from being broke, but it won’t stop you from being poor.” If young people don’t have skills that are valuable to employers we are not going to break a cycle of poverty that weighs on many families.
If you look at our web page you will see that we support AIM – a summer program for minority high school students that combines business learning with science and math. We donated laptop computers for the winners of a “business pitch” event.
We also support Winning Futures and Real Life 101, both mentoring programs for young people, and Wayne State’s Biz Tech program, which includes an internship with our company. These are programs that provide a good structure for success for student participants and business people who want to help.
Leadership is developed by a combination of being tested and being taught. We are also developing our own leadership by teaching and testing others.