Beyond our daily work, our employees actively engage in the communities in which we work across the country. They regularly donate blood, volunteer at a food bank, organize food drives, fill backpacks with school supplies. Sometimes they extend their reach and expertise by traveling with Engineers Without Borders to places like Ecuador. Regardless of the means, our employees are eager to make a difference.
Serving our communities through volunteer work is integral to our values. In 2019, we added a benefit offering eight hours of paid time for employees to use to give back. Our volunteer time off (VTO) benefit enables us to track employees’ logged hours and to learn about the great organizations our people partner with locally, regionally, and internationally.
During the first year of this benefit, 27 percent of employees leveraged this opportunity with over 1,500 hours volunteered. When the world halted due to the spread of COVID-19, we saw a drop in volunteer hours because most in-person volunteer opportunities were cancelled. Despite the pandemic shifting how we volunteer, employees still managed to help neighbors in need of food, assisted educators with STEM initiatives, mentored college students, and participated in outdoor cleanups.
This year we are launching the inaugural Woodard & Curran Day of Service, inviting employees to participate in group volunteer activities to maximize the impact we have in our communities across the country. Intended to be an annual event, the effort was initiated by employees who want to do more to show our support for equity and social justice efforts. We are eager to see the impact our group efforts and expertise has in our communities, while maintaining pandemic-related health and safety protocols.