With the start of the new year, our employees in Milwaukee, WI wasted no time in starting their volunteer activities in the local community. Over 20 employees set out to paint the interiors of two Komatsu-sponsored Habitat for Humanity homes. These homes, located just five minutes from our National Avenue facility, were started in September 2017, with over 100 Komatsu employees working on them to date. The homes are built entirely by volunteer support and our employees have returned multiple times to take on key tasks, such as hanging drywall and painting.
Our partnership with Habitat for Humanity is fueled by a desire to strengthen the surrounding neighborhoods, providing increased safety, stability and vitality to the community. Recently Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity completed a study to better understand the impact they are making. “We found, studying the long-term impact of owning a Habitat home, that the children of Habitat homeowners have an 82% high school graduation rate. This is on-par with the state average and nearly 30% higher than the average for Milwaukee Public Schools”, said Brian Sonderman, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.
These findings mirror Komatsu’s philosophy that when we support Habitat we are doing much more than building a house, we are building the foundation for generations to come.
“We know that for many people living in Milwaukee there is constant transition, moving from one side of town to the other, chasing affordable housing. For kids this means constantly changing schools and starting over. Having a safe and stable environment to call home, allowing children to stay in the same school from year to year, makes a world of difference and this is seen through Habitat’s research”, said Cathy Stagmer, Komatsu’s Manager-Social Responsibility.
Komatsu Mining Corp has supported Habitat for Humanity since 2011; in that time, with the shared contributions of corporate dollars, employee donations and supplier support, our employees have built 19 homes with over 7200 hours of volunteer service.