Raytheon Technologies is launching a $500 million, 10-year social impact initiative to address critical societal challenges, especially in underserved communities.
The company's Connect Up corporate responsibility effort expands its legacy of community investment through lifelong learning, support of veterans and military families, and focused local community engagement.
“The measure of business success must include community growth,” said Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes.
“The Connect Up program leverages our global reach, the expertise and passion of more than 180,000 employees, a heritage of era-defining engineering and technology ingenuity, with a track record of solving some of society’s biggest challenges.
“Through focused investments, volunteer commitment, and strategic partnerships, we will create lasting, multi-generational impact in education opportunity, armed services support, and local community relief,” Hayes said.
The Connect Up effort includes philanthropic funds, public-private partnerships, and employee volunteerism to achieve its goals of serving underfunded communities.
It will do this by advancing lifelong learning with a focus on providing access to STEM education to underrepresented communities—in particular, communities of color—through partnerships with groups including the National Academy Foundation, SMASH, and Girls Who Code.
The National Academy Foundation is an industry-sponsored nonprofit with a national network of public-private partnerships that support career academies within traditional high schools.
NAF works with CBIA affiliate ReadyCT, which has a goal of ensuring that public high school students in Connecticut graduate with confidence in their ability to pursue a wide range of college and career choices.
Shannon Marimòn, executive director of ReadyCT, is excited that Connect Up will partner with NAF to promote STEM education and hopes it will inspire other companies.
“Raytheon is an extraordinary partner,” Marimón said.
“This investment allows for expanded leverage of business-education partnerships to improve postsecondary outcomes for underserved students while also helping employers address ever-increasing talent shortages in high-growth/high-demand industries.
“Ideally, other major employers will follow suit, to the benefit of students and industry across Connecticut and beyond.”
In addition to philanthropy, employee volunteering is central to Connect Up, which is why Raytheon launched an enterprise-wide employee volunteer initiative to give employees a chance to connect with and give back to their communities.
Hayes said Raytheon will charge its 180,000 global employees with unlocking the power of connections through one million acts of service this year, beginning with its first ever Global Month of Service in April.