In RTP (Research Triangle Park), you’ll find many technology companies. Businesses there aren’t only focused on innovation, though. Many have extensive outreach programs in place meant for bettering the community.
IBM, an American multinational information technology company, centers their community service on Raleigh’s youth.
“We have all types of outreach and service projects,” said Shelley Brocksmith, an employee at IBM. The company offers support and help via the IBM Green Team for Boy Scouts working on their Eagle Scout Award and assists Girl Scouts with their Silver and Gold Awards.
Support manifests itself in different ways for all projects. Occasionally it is obtaining the legal paperwork for Scouts that are physically on site for their project, signing off on paperwork as an advisor, or speaking to fellow employees to encourage their involvement in the project. Most often assistance comes in the form of “the power of IBM’s robust skill set to their project as a resource that puts them at a distinct advantage,” said Brocksmith.
She personally works with Girl Scouts and mentors them on environmental projects. “I especially love encouraging women and girls and supporting environmental issues,” said Brocksmith. The gratitude she feels for being able to give back to the community and for working for a company that is so encouraging of service work is ineffable.
“IBM is very proud of the thousands of hours employees volunteer in various communities around the world,” said Brocksmith. IBM hopes that their example leads others to instituting employee volunteer programs.
IBM also organizes volunteer events with Habitat for Humanity, blood drives, and food banks located in Raleigh and Durham. Recently a group of employees were sent to eastern North Carolina to aid in the cleanup of Hurricane Florence.
The general populace may wonder why IBM contributes so much time and resources to the community. Well, they believe that local companies should be “good corporate citizens because companies are part of the community,” said Brocksmith.
IBM even presents volunteer excellence awards annually; the highest form of global volunteer recognition given by the company to employees. The Chairman and CEO of the company gives out the awards.
The award serves to recognize the creative implementation of strategic technologies to solve critical community issues. The volunteers ultimately serve communities and organizations around the world to foster environments where individuals matter.