Children and adults in Hartford will benefit from a $100,000 donation Pratt & Whitney recently made to the Urban League of Greater Hartford.

“This generous contribution will provide immediate funding for a variety of our critical adult and youth initiatives such as job training, career counseling, STEM programming, and academic support in alignment with Goodwin University, Asnuntuck College, and Capital Community College,” Urban League president and CEO David Hopkins said.

The large donation comes on top of Pratt’s years of sponsorships, in-kind services, and volunteer hours to benefit the Urban League.

The donation was announced during the Urban League’s Black History Month celebration.

Longtime Urban League board executive committee member Earl Exum said the donation recognizes that the community the organization serves “has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways.”

'Dramatic Impact'

“Our company has been supporting the Urban League of Greater Hartford for more than two decades and we have seen the dramatic impact that its hands-on programs and committed staff make on the lives of Hartford-area residents,” said Exum, president of International Aero Engines, AG, a Pratt & Whitney joint venture company.

“Our partnership with the organization also provides volunteer opportunities for Pratt & Whitney employees who seek diversity and inclusion engagement outside of the workplace and find significant value in an association with the Urban League as one of the oldest and most instrumental social and economic justice organizations.

The gesture is just the latest effort by Pratt & Whitney and many other Connecticut companies to help their communities and their employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

The aerospace giant recently purchased $22,000 in gift cards from Middletown businesses then gave them to essential employees working at the company’s Middletown plant.

Urban League programs and operations impact more than 3,000 individuals and their families every year in the areas of youth development, adult education, workforce development, housing, community health, and social justice.

Employee Volunteerism

“The annual value of the partnership with Pratt & Whitney actually exceeds the donation in the form of employee representation and insight on our Board of Directors and Young Professionals auxiliary, and sponsorship of our annual ‘Equality Opportunity Day’ and ‘Empowerment Week’ events, and the support from hundreds of its workers increase our capacity to serve the community,” Hopkins said.

“Pratt & Whitney’s Employee Resource Groups’ volunteerism includes food and toy collections by its African American Forum and its Women’s Forum’s support of our STEM programs.”

“We are very pleased to intensify our relationship with the Urban League at this critical time and look forward to our work together in the future,” Exum said.

“We encourage other Connecticut companies to step forward and demonstrate corporate social responsibility to support hard hit communities-in-need.”