It’s not a secret that Cleveland is oneof the poorest large cities in the country. On top of that, its public schoolsystem fails nearly half of its students.With these two factors workingagainst its citizens, it doesn’t offer alot of hope, but the employees at Alcoa Cleveland Works are trying tochange that.
With education as one of the city’sgreatest needs, Alcoa focuses itsgrant-making efforts on programs thathelp advance and enrich the educational experiences for the city’s disadvantaged youth. Last year, the company gave nearly $500,000 for programsthat help youth be more successful inschool, support them in their effortsto pursue advanced educationalopportunities and become gainfullyemployed.
Along with that, Alcoa has an employee volunteerism program. It strategicallyplaces employees, such as JosephHaniford, vice president and general manager of the Alcoa forge business, toserve as board members of organizations committed to educationaladvancement for inner-city youth.Additionally, the company has adoptedan inner-city school, and employees volunteer at it by offering tutoring sessionsto help students who are struggling tosucceed. In addition to the time, Alcoaalso puts the money where its mouth isby providing $30,000 a year to supportliteracy and science programs there, aswell. It also supports the school’s teachers. For example, the company nominated one teacher to participate in a week-long training session through theKeystone Foundation program. Theteacher will come back to the schoolwith new ideas to help engaged studentsin learning.
Alcoa also supports the Barbara Byrd-Bennett Scholarship program, which targets African-American males in theCleveland schools. These are students inthe summer of their eighth grade year and have a 50 percent risk in dropping out by10th grade. Of the 33 students that wereidentified to participate in the mentoringprogram, 23 are attending college on fullscholarships.
Through its efforts to improve youtheducation in Cleveland, Alcoa is notonly instilling the value of learning,it’s also providing hope and creatingmore solid and successful futures forthe city’s children. In turn, those kidswill make Cleveland a stronger, morevibrant city for future generations as aresult of Alcoa’s efforts.
HOW TO REACH: Alcoa Cleveland Works, (216) 883-5186 orwww.alcoa.com