Giving Back

Our neighbors depend on us, just as we depend on them, so we are committed to improving the quality of life in the communities in which we work. At Southwire, this goes beyond providing jobs and paying taxes; it means supporting those in need with time, talent and financial resources.

In 2020, despite in-person activities being curtailed, Southwire’s efforts toward Giving Back did not waver through the pandemic. Through our company’s giving and our volunteers’ efforts to find ways to serve virtually, we were able to continue making an impact in the places we call home.

Southwire’s Giving Back goal is to enable and engage our workforce in building more sustainable communities. Specifically, we are seeking to launch electronics recycling programs in 100% of the communities in which we operate by 2023.

Creating Shared Value 

Creating shared value is at the heart of Giving Back. To create shared community value, we focus our efforts on understanding the needs of our communities and engaging them with supportive efforts that:
  • Educate and develop long-term skills
  • Inspire and build health through volunteering
  • Revive and rebuild through disaster relief 
  • Brighten and support lives through charitable giving
  • Protect and sustain the environment
By focusing on the needs of our 24 identified communities, we create value for Southwire by helping to develop thriving communities with engaged residents and talented future employees. 

12 for Life®

In 2007, Southwire kicked off the 12 for Life® educational recruitment initiative which provides students at risk of dropping out of high school with jobs inside a modified Southwire manufacturing environment while supporting them in earning their diploma. The program increases students’ familiarity with a work environment while affording Southwire opportunities to train and develop potential employees with limited on-the-job training after graduation. 

In addition to providing at risk students with the opportunity to work at Southwire while working towards their diplomas, the 12 for Life® initiative is an innovative way to build a stronger workforce for the future while bridging the skills trade gap. Through the end of 2020, there were over 2,600 students. The current regional graduation rate is 95%. In 2020, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to support the students through mentorship, financial intervention, and partnerships with technical schools that provide training connected to skill trade development. 

Southwire Expands 2020 Giving Efforts in Response to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, and in support of our long-standing tradition of Giving Back to the communities in which we live and work, Southwire announced our largest donations to date in a three phase expansion of Giving Back efforts focused on hunger, education and hope for the holidays. Donations throughout the year, totaled $1 million.

Project GIFT® (Giving Inspiration for Tomorrow) Relief Efforts

Southwire and Project GIFT partnered to bring relief to families impacted by COVID-19 by fundraising for hunger through the #UniteONESouthwire campaign, and during the holidays through the Hope for the Holidays virtual event. Funds were distributed to non-profit organizations like Feeding America, Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, Children International, Feed the Hungry and more. Project GIFT also provided more than 36,000 bags of school supplies for children in need, and the Blackshirt volunteers wrote messages of encouragement to kids starting the new school year during the pandemic.

Virtual Volunteering

Due to the pandemic, volunteering went virtual, and Project GIFT Blackshirts were able to continue Giving Back in a variety of ways – all while remaining safe. Volunteers were able to earn hours by sending e-cards to a variety of recipients, such as children at St. Jude or Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, or by participating in a virtual concert for residents at local nursing homes.

*2020 in-person community engagement activities curtailed due to COVID-19.

Disaster Relief

Project GIFT collected funds totaling more than $20,000 for victims of the Nashville Tornadoes, Hurricane Eta, Hurricane Iota and Hurricane Laura. These storms caused widespread damage in Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas and Honduras, and many Southwire employees and their families were affected. The funds that we collected, which included contributions from employees across the organization, were distributed to various non-profit organizations assisting with the clean-up and recovery efforts, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans and Food for the Poor. 

Charitable Contributions

With sustainability at the heart of Southwire’s strategic shared value in charitable giving, we align and track our giving efforts with our “giving strands” in four focus areas:
  • Supporting the communities where we operate
  • Preparing a better workforce
  • Partnering with our customers and affiliates
  • Protecting our environment

Related Resources

Charitable Giving
Shared Value Partnerships
Project Gift Annual Snapshot

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