More than 250 students feel the impact of CH2M commitment
A partnership between the CH2M Foundation and the Harambee Employee Network has helped hundreds of students nationwide.
In 2015, the CH2M Foundation and Harambee Employee Network, a CH2M professional networking organization for African American employees, made a commitment to INROADS, an organization dedicated to developing a place for talented underserved youth in business and industry, and prepared them for corporate and community leadership. The commitment of $30,000 was combined with a promise from CH2M to volunteer time and demonstrate skills to high school and college students.
The vision of the partnership started out as a plan to impact and advance STEM in strategic communities, and expanded to:
- An increase in CH2M and Harambee’s community engagement and participation.
- Professional exposure for INROADS high school and college students preparing for future career choices.
- Opportunities to incorporate client partnerships and enhance CH2M client collaboration.
- More than 40 CH2M professionals volunteered their time to serve as INROADS volunteers and mentors.
CH2M program managers say the feedback from students has been tremendously positive and they hope to continue the commitment in coming years.
“The foundation for a long-term partnership has been laid, and we hope to continue collaborating with this group in the future,” said Strauder Patton, CH2M program manager.
Events were held in Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; and Washington D.C., and CH2M clients General Electric (GE), Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Alexandria Renew Enterprises, offered support.
In one Chicago event, eight CH2M employees served as local and virtual mentors to high school students. The CH2Mers shared real world experiences, career and life advice. In addition, mentors helped the students prepare for summer project assignments and presentations.
Six CH2M employees from the Cincinnati office partnered with GE to bring 15 INROADS high school students on a project tour of the GE aviation and marine engine manufacturing center. A highlight from the event included a visit from an INROADS alum and current GE employee, who shared how he made the leap from an INROADS student to a successful professional.
The CH2M Denver office sponsored the Denver Learning Summit conference. Ten CH2M volunteers served as facilitators for the more than 100 college students participating in the event. Students were given real-life case studies and CH2M volunteers helped them problem solve.
In our nation’s capital, a dozen CH2M professionals invited 17 high school students to tour the Washington, D.C. campus as well as a water reclamation plant at Alexandria Renew Enterprises. The students were able to tap the CH2M employees for career advice and to learn more about their day-to-day work experience.
Cincinnati, Ohio, CH2M Program Manager Sonja Barnes said, “As you can imagine, the project is extremely beneficial to the INROADS students who have dreams for their future, but it’s also rewarding for the CH2M and GE employees who have gotten involved.”