Can a company do well and do good? The 50 firms on PEOPLE’s first annual Companies That Care list do just that. In partnership with the research firm Great Place to Work, we surveyed workers at nearly 1,000 companies across the U.S. With charitable giving, community outreach and some very creative perks, these firms prove you can make a profit and make the world a better place.
The following is a list of 9 companies doing great things in their communities.
Quicken Loans, a mortgage lender and provider, is headquartered in Detroit and is working hard to revitalize its hometown by investing in its employees and the city itself.
To date, Quicken has purchased more than 95 properties encompassing more than 15 million square feet and spent nearly $2.2 billion to buy and renovate buildings while recruiting more than 120 companies to move their headquarters to the city. Through a partnership with other businesses and the Live Downtown Program, it offers first-time renters a $3,500 stipend or home buyers $20,000 in forgivable loans for purchasing a home, with an additional $5,000 for home improvement. As part of its commitment to the community, Quicken Loans offers unlimited, paid volunteering time to all team members.
In 2016 alone, Quicken Loans team members volunteered more than 120,000 hours and the company donated more than $16 million to nonprofits. “Many of the things our company has done for cities like Detroit and Cleveland have tremendous impact but simply cannot be measured on a spreadsheet,” says CEO Jay Farner. “On a daily basis, our team members are volunteering across the country, whether it’s teaching coding skills to middle schoolers from Detroit Public Schools, planting food in urban gardens or serving meals to the hungry. We truly believe everything we do makes a difference.”
Wegmans Food Markets, a 92-store grocery chain on the East Coast, is known among its employees for its soul.
One way the company gives back is training 15 “Project Search” job candidates, coaching them in developing skills and work habits, then hiring at least five annually. “The other employees made me feel really welcome while I was learning,” one participant said. “I was treated like one of them!”
“We lead with our hearts and manage our company guided by five values: Caring, High Standards, Making a Difference, Respect, and Empowerment,” Kevin Stickles, senior vice president for human resources, tells PEOPLE. “It is our belief that people of all abilities should have the chance for meaningful employment and a real sense of inclusion in the community. Our employees with disabilities are hard-working, dedicated, and they give much more to us, and to our customers, than we have given to them.”
Another way is through its efforts toward feeding the hungry, such as donating 14 million pounds of food from stores annually and distributing it to community members in need and raising $32 million at checkout registers for hunger relief. “As a food company, we feel a special responsibility to help solve the problem of hunger in our communities,” says Stickles.
Publix Super Markets, located in the southwest, prides itself on its culture of community involvement.
During its “Publix Serves Day” in 2015, for example, 4,000 employees volunteered with more than 125 non-profits related to youth, education and the plight of the hungry/homeless. The company donated $1,085 per district to local causes for a total of $121,000 donated that day. Publix also donates food nearing its sell-by date such as lunch meats, cheeses and produce to food banks for distribution to church groups and food pantries. From 2010 to 2015, Publix’s perishable food program donated more than 186.7 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 155.5 million meals, to American food banks.
Hilcorp, an oil and natural gas E&P company, puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to providing personal support and creating an “in it together” culture.
For example, when a natural disaster hits, Hilcorp is right there to help. During hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Hilcorp provided approximately 25 employees with free temporary housing trailers for up to six months as well as $50,000 to the 13 employees whose homes were devastated. The company then donated $100,000 to the Gulf Coast communities.
The company also purchased 50 portable generators to loan out — they are now kept in a warehouse for possible loan if another event occurs.
David Weekley Homes, the largest privately-held home builder in America, is proud of its dedication to its community.
As employee Chip Pearce of Atlanta explains, “We are so much more than your typical company. We invest in the people of our community in immeasurable ways. The obvious examples of this are home construction builds for charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity, battered women shelters, housing assistance programs and much more. And, there are less obvious things like school sponsorships, food drives, clothing drives and other community support through The David Weekley Family Foundation. As a new Team Member, you quickly learn that this is much more than a job and how it can impact your community.”
World Wide Technology, an Information Technology company, is passionate about making a difference in their communities.
One example is the Day of Caring program, where employees receive a day off to volunteer at their favorite charity. Among the ways its employees raise funds: shaving heads to fundraise for children with cancer for the St. Baldric’s Foundation, hosting walks in the park to collect money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, putting on golf tournaments for the Working Wonders for Downs foundation, hosting food drives for local families, sponsoring “Alzheimer’s Hackathons” to help find a cure for the disease, donating school supplies to classrooms in Hawaii and cleaning debris from floods in Missouri.
Miami Children’s Health System, a children’s hospital, wants to prevent kids from getting sick, or help them if they do fall ill.MCHS has been active for 10 years with the school system’s Kids and the Power of Work Program, in which staff visits the school monthly to teach the ABCs of health in a fun and creative way to kids 6-9 years old.
If they are hospitalized, children with chronic illnesses and disabilities get a chance to experience life in camp during the summer through the help of employees. Staff from different disciplines volunteer their time to manage more than 12 specialty camps.
Kimley-Horn, which provides planning and engineering consultative services, has its eye on the next generation.
As part of their commitment to community involvement, employees participate in an array of activities such as providing youth ages 16-18 internships to gain on-the-job experience as part of Durham’s YouthWork internship program and partnering with a local high school to mentor inner-city students and organize fundraisers with contributions going to the high school.
Additionally, staffers organized an “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” day and teamed with SciGirls Strategies to develop videos to help high school teachers recruit and retain more girls from diverse backgrounds in STEM classes and career pathways.
Autodesk builds software that helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Company leaders support their employees’ personal interests by helping them give back to the community, make use of flexible work schedules to care for personal/family life and take sabbaticals to explore interests outside of work.
Employees are able to take up to 4 hours a month of paid time off to volunteer. Leaders support their employees’ care for their communities by allowing them the space to devote time to volunteering without the burden of loss of wages.