In February 2015, we were awarded the esteemed “Spirit of STEM” Award from STEM Forward, Wisconsin’s leading technical organization supporting educational programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Accepting the award was Dan Schlegel, Vice President-Engineering, and he was joined by several members of our team who are active in volunteering for STEM organizations.
Our investment in education in the Milwaukee community is extensive. We invest resources, time and talent in serving on advisory boards, mentoring students and sponsoring events that provide enriching experiences for Milwaukee area youth. By engaging employees in volunteer service that supports education we not only provide students with diverse role models with respect to career and education options but we connect employees with opportunities to build skills in leadership, coaching, teamwork and project management. In 2014, 138 employees volunteered to support educational organizations in Milwaukee, contributing over 1000 hours of service.
As part of our investment in education in the community many of our partnerships focus specifically on organizations that foster interest and achievement in STEM related fields. These partnerships and activities include:
- Project Lead The Way
- Project Lead the Way is a national engineering curriculum for elementary, middle school and high school students. We started supporting this program in 2008 and is currently engaged in partnerships with two local high schools. Our investment includes both financial and volunteer support. Engineers serve as in-class mentors on a monthly basis and guest speakers are provided as needed. To further the partnerships we host school tours and view them as an opportunity to showcase modern manufacturing, broadening teachers’ and students’ awareness of STEM related career opportunities.
- Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
- In an effort to address the disparity in which women are represented in STEM related fields we started participating in the national Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day in 2013. This year will mark the third year that we have hosted the event which invites the participation of young women from our partner schools. Topics and activities have varied from addressing the myths and fears surrounding the pursuit of a STEM career to highlighting women within our organization and engaging the students in real-world problem solving to showcase the application of what is learned in the classroom.
- FIRST Robotics
- FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a global organization that coordinates accessible, innovative robotics programs that build not only science and technology skills and interests, but also self-confidence, leadership, and life skills. As a company we sponsor two regional competitions, one in Duluth, Minnesota and one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We also sponsor three high school robotics teams that are coached by Joy Global engineers. Teams are invited to tour our facility and network with our engineers.
- STEM Forward
- STEM Forward offers year-round opportunities to engage in furthering an interest in STEM. We sponsor events like the Future City competition, the Engineers Week Banquet and the sySTEM Now Conference. Additionally, employees serve as volunteers at various events coordinated by STEM Forward.
- College and University Support
- Moving beyond the investment in education at the middle school and high school level, we also invest in senior design projects at local colleges and universities like the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and MSOE. Teams are again invited to tour our facility and network with engineers, building a connection to the next generation workforce.
The investment in education is a central pillar of our Charitable Giving Charter and reflects our broader commitment to social responsibility. We have made a significant and continuing investment in strategic partnerships with educational institutions and programs, not only in Milwaukee but elsewhere in our global business.
We see this as part of our overall responsibility to the communities in which we operate and of which we are an integral part. We also see it as an investment in our organization through the proactive development of the talent that will sustain our future, providing employment and benefits for these same communities.
We are honored to have received this award as it celebrates our efforts to make an impact in STEM education. Receipt of this award is only possible because of the active approach we take to investing in our community and the dedication and interest demonstrated by our employees who volunteer. We strive to keep year-round relationships with our STEM partners and engage in open dialogue and evaluation to continually improve our partnerships.
This is the second award we have received in three years for our commitment to education. In 2012 we were recognized with the Business Friends of Education Award from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. This award recognized our investment in Milwaukee Public Schools, particularly the Project Lead the Way program.