Across Louisiana, corporations are engaged in making their communities better through philanthropic grants, donations and employee volunteerism. In many cases, years of relationship building has taken place with companies investing time, talent and resources into schools, parks, nonprofit organizations and more, all for the public good. From global companies to small businesses, Louisiana employers large and small value giving back. Here are a few examples:
Employees of CITGO’s Lake Charles Refinery take part in TeamCITGO, the facility’s community face and a portal for community service. Current employees, along with retirees, their families and friends donate countless hours of their time and talents each year to numerous local charitable and community projects. TeamCITGO was the first industry volunteer organization in Southwest Louisiana and has had a long history of volunteerism in the surrounding five-parish area. CITGO Lake Charles is also a longtime leading donor to the United Way of Southwest Louisiana giving, donating more than $12 million since 1975. The company supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) by sponsoring Southwest Louisiana’s largest single-day fundraiser for MDA each year, the CITGO MDA Golf Classic, which has raised $3.4 million since 1985. CITGO also supports four Calcasieu Parish Partner in Education schools as well as McNeese State University.
ExxonMobil’s roots in the Baton Rouge community stem back more than a century to 1909, when then-Standard Oil expanded operations to the southern United States. It found a winning site in Baton Rouge, advantageously located on the Mississippi River. More than a century later, Baton Rouge is one of ExxonMobil’s largest centers of operation, and the company and community have a long history of supporting one another. ExxonMobil employees, retirees and family members donate more than 32,000 hours annually to charities and causes in Baton Rouge and earn more than $625,000 annually in Volunteer Involvement Program grants for local agencies and groups. Moreover, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge is a stalwart donor to the Capital Area United Way, donating approximately $1.2 million to the agency, and another $1 million to nonprofits and schools and $1.5 million to Louisiana colleges and universities each year. ExxonMobil is also a founding sponsor to an innovative aquaponics lab at Brookstown Middle School, which teaches children how to safely operate a system that can harvest catfish and lettuce. Another project, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, connects female employee volunteers with sixth through ninth grade female students for a day of hands-on engineering learning. And through the company’s $20 billion Growth the Gulf initiative over the next ten years, ExxonMobil has established numerous new projects, including the North Baton Rouge Industrial Training Initiative, which provides the company’s immediate neighbors access to industrial job opportunities through a free training program in partnership with nearly two dozen community partners, including the Baton Rouge Community College.
Shell’s Norco chemical facility, located about 30 minutes from New Orleans, has been recognized for its longtime support of community organizations, especially in the immediate vicinity of the manufacturing facility. In 2001, Shell Norco took a bold step and established two donor advised funds through the Greater New Orleans Foundation, including a $1 million endowment for the Norco Community Advisory Panel, which supports nonprofit organizations in Norco, and a $5 million endowment for the Norco Community Economic Development Foundation, which provides grants to recognized organizations that are focused on job retention and economic development directly impacting the area. Committees comprised of local residents and business leaders annually review grant applications and make recommendations for funding. The Norco Community Advisory Panel has granted more than $764,000 since 2001, while the Norco Community Economic Development Foundation has granted more than $2.2 million since it was established in 2003.
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