Positively impacting the local communities where we live and do business around the globe is an important part of our corporate mission. Local investment of our time and resources helps advance strong, stable and vibrant communities that make good places to live and work.
Giving back is a core part of our culture and it starts at home.
For nearly a century, Textron has been a Rhode Island-based company. Given these deep roots, it is important to our Company that we support organizations and programs that improve the lives of Rhode Island’s residents and better our communities. Our support spans many different areas, including education, the arts and social services.
In 2020, the Textron Charitable Trust made a four-year grant commitment in support of United Way of Rhode Island’s LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan. As a launch supporter of this initiative, we have committed to stand with the United Way of Rhode Island to unite our community and resources to build racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. We are pledging to take meaningful action to address the issues of racial equity and justice in the state.
The plan is built upon four pillars with racial equity at the center of each. It focuses on advancing childhood reading proficiency and access to out-of-school time programs for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) youth, making housing safe and affordable for all, advancing workforce development and adult education, altering policies that perpetuate inequities for people of color and building community and nonprofit capacity.
Another example of Textron’s commitment to our home state of Rhode Island is our relationship with The Met High School’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Providence. Since 2013, the Textron Charitable Trust has been a major supporter of this program which helps prepare high school students to be successful in college and in life by engaging them in the rigorous study of entrepreneurship. Through the center’s Entrepreneurship 360 course, students learn the entrepreneurial mindset—from concept to business plan development to implementation. The resulting student-owned, student-run businesses then present their plan to a panel of judges—that includes Textron volunteers— in a business plan competition.
Among the other Rhode Island organizations we support are Trinity Reparatory Company, Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence After School Alliance, House of Hope Community Development Corporation and Crossroads Rhode Island.
Outside Rhode Island, employees at our businesses also are highly engaged in volunteerism and community outreach activities. Here are some examples:
The Textron-United Way partnership dates back to 1937 when our founder, Royal Little, established and endowed a gift that fully covers the United Way of Rhode Island’s administrative costs (e.g., salaries, marketing, operational expenses). This means that 100 percent of all contributions to the organization directly supports the advancement of the organization’s objectives.
Bell is a primary adopter of Bellaire Elementary School in Hurst, Texas. Bell’s support of the school is coordinated through the Bell Leadership Association for Developing Excellence (BLADE)—Bell’s professional paid membership organization. Each year, BLADE and Bell provide 200+ volunteer hours for campus beautification, STEM support, mentorship programs and an annual school supply drive. Bell has helped Bellaire establish an after-school robotics club (Lab Rats) and has expanded Bellaire’s reading programs by providing books to all students during their annual book fair. Even during the challenges 2020 brought, BLADE and Bell assisted Bellaire by donating digital thermometers and hundreds of Bell logo bags used for food distribution to students’ families.
Bell has participated in the Cowtown Marathon for over 40 years. The marathon promotes health and fitness in the community and supports The C.A.L.F. (Childrens’ Activities for Life & Fitness) Program, which provides health and nutrition education to students. More than 100 employees and family members challenged themselves to either walk or run in a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon.
Kautex employees in Avilla, Indiana, adopted 85 “angels” at Christmas and donated about $8,500 worth of toys and clothing. Employees in Troy, Michigan, also spread holiday cheer to those less fortunate by providing an adopted family with gifts and food worth more than $2,400.
Textron Aviation and its employees showed tremendous generosity through the 2020 UPLIFT fundraising campaign by contributing more than $2.2 million to the UPLIFT organization which is a not-for-profit organization managed by Textron Aviation employees. The annual campaign has generated more than $25 million during the past 10 years.
UPLIFT offers assistance to Textron Aviation employees in financial need and provides support to the company’s local community. Employee contributions help fund nearly 200 different community programs, ranging from early childhood development programs to services for catastrophe relief to food and shelter programs.
E-Z-GO partnered with Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area to run its new E-Z-GO Café. This employee dining facility on its Augusta campus not only provides healthy, affordable food options to employees, but it also helps better lives in the local community. Goodwill’s Edgar’s Hospitality Group, which operates the new cafe, employs students and graduates of the culinary arts program at Goodwill’s Helms College, providing the under-skilled and underemployed in the Augusta area with educational opportunities and training to help them build new careers and livelihoods.
In honor of National Engineers Week, a team of Textron Specialized Vehicles’ engineers spent an afternoon volunteering at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Central Savannah River Area. The team introduced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts to about 100 elementary school students by building and racing mini E-Z-GO golf cars with them.
This year, coming together to support our communities was more critical than it’s ever been. Textron Systems was able to provide over $70,000 in financial support to strengthen our communities, through organizations like the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and the Ronald McDonald House.
Across Textron Systems’ locations, our businesses donated or raised more than $55,000 for veteran-centric organizations. Operation Gratitude delivered thank-you notes that our employees wrote to service members. Employees also donated 484 lbs. of clothing to the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET).
Textron Systems donated more than $50,000 in support of education and STEM programs to local school systems and foundations like STEM for HER, an organization that supports the development of young women interested in STEM, and the Flight Club 501 Inc., which supports youth development and leadership through STEM specialization.