“Business today faces an escalating demand and growing need to play a greater role in addressing society’s problems. Employees will be the key to any company’s efforts… Brought into the core, employees strengthen corporate citizenship from the inside out with compassion, promising ideas and unparalleled energy.”
Cheryl Yaffe Kiser, Managing Director, Boston College, Center for Corporate Citizenship
GE employees care deeply about the communities in which they live and work. The same passion, innovation and enthusiasm that employees bring to work each and every day, also fuel the impact that GE volunteers make. The GE volunteer network operates more than 220 Volunteer Councils in 51 countries. One council in particular, GE Mexico, has a history almost as long as GE itself. GE Mexico marked its 115th anniversary by giving back to the community.
GE Mexico undertook a social responsibility campaign and gave back to the community through three focused efforts: helping marginalized people get access to affordable housing, providing lighting to public schools, and helping students by volunteering to read in local schools. The GE Mexico team are immensely proud to have committed to these important causes and believe that their efforts were good for the community, for employees and good for GE.
The first initiative focused on building houses for people living in extreme poverty. GE Mexico partnered with Un Techo para mi Pais, a Latin American organization led by university students and young professionals. This type of project has a huge impact in the local communities since 50% of the population lives in poverty conditions and 18% are in extreme poverty, living on less than one dollar per day. Building houses is the first phase of a multifaceted program that develops specific solutions for the most important needs of those communities and then works to give them access to microcredit and skills training. The GE team built transitional houses and worked alongside families who would eventually live in these houses. In total, GE Mexico built 121 houses that directly benefitted 726 people within 10 different communities across the country, and donated 47,000 volunteering hours in doing so.
Taking inspiration from Edison’s invention 130 years ago, the second initiative provided new lighting to 115 public schools, benefitting 46,000 students. With more than 15,500 volunteer hours, we were able to replace each incandescent bulb with an energy efficient GE CFL bulb and give better light conditions and energy savings to the school by reducing environmental impact, improving visual health and reducing electricity costs.
Our commitment to education extended beyond the classrooms with our third initiative, where employees spent 216,000 hours reading to children. This initiative is rooted in the fact that reading nurtures imagination and promotes good habits among children and their families.
This program included volunteers from 21 plants, 8 service centers, 2 corporate offices and our advanced Engineering Center.
The GE Mexico volunteer team is thrilled to have celebrated 115 years of good actions and to once again show that when we join efforts, we can make a profound impact in the communities where we live and work.