arships over five years to students at
historically black colleges and universities who aim to become math
and science teachers.
Corporate America could get
away with not aggressively promoting education of people of color
when they made up 15 or 20 percent of the population, but with
whites becoming the minority of
the population in more states, this is
no longer possible.
“All of us know the demographics,” McCausland says. “Recognizing
that [people of color] do have different educational needs … we realized
we needed to work at the grassroots
level to develop teachers.”
Top 50 Lead the Way
Marriott International, No. 22 on
The 2006 DiversityInc Top 50
Companies for Diversity list, funds
traditional educational initiatives.
But it has gone a step further than
most companies by supporting a
charter school related to its industry.
The Marriott Hospitality Public
Charter School, named
after the family that
donated $1 million,
increases awareness about
hospitality as a career
choice. The predominantly black and low-income
Washington, D.C., school
mixes traditional curricula
with courses on event
planning, culinary arts
and related topics. Each
year, about one-third of the high
school’s seniors are selected for
internships at Marriott hotels, says
spokesperson Dasha Ross.
Marriott, based in Washington,
D.C., also sponsors hospitality-oriented curricula for high schools
around the country, most of which
are in urban locales where students
are predominantly black or Latino.
In 1989, the Marriott family established the Marriott Foundation for
People with Disabilities in an effort to help students with special needs who
graduate from high school but struggle to find jobs. The foundation’s “Bridges
... from School to Work” operates in six cities and provides young people with
job training that enhances their employment potential and matches employers
with entry-level workers.
Since its inception, the “Bridges” program has helped place more than
8,700 young people with disabilities into employment with more than 1,500
employers. More than 6,400 of those young people have been retained on the
job for at least 90 days, says Tad Asbury, executive director of the foundation.
Additionally, for every $1 in contribution from The J. Willard and Alice S.
Marriott Foundation, the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities
successfully raises another $1.50 in the form of federal, state and local government contracts, grants and other cash contributions.
The program has helped the foundation become “a trusted partner” in
cities in which Marriott operates. It also manages more than 20 different contracts with myriad government agencies, Asbury says.
Ford Motor Co., headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., also helps implement
new curricula in high schools around the country through the Ford Partnership
for Advanced Studies (PAS), which is funded by Ford’s philanthropic arm. Ford
is No. 37 on The 2006 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.
Ford PAS provides high-school students with an interdisciplinary learning
experience to develop their problem-solving, critical-thinking and communication skills—sometimes considered softer skills but still vital employability
skills, says Cheryl Carrier, Ford PAS program manager.
The program, in place in 21 states, builds on the company’s success with
the Ford Academy of Manufacturing Sciences, developed in 1990 to encourage high-school students to continue their education and pursue careers in
business, engineering and technology.
“When you look at where you can invest, education
is an important lever. If you can make a change in the
public-school system, you’re making a change for many,
many, many students besides those you started with.
So it’s a smart place to invest.”
Cathy Lipe, Hewlett-Packard
Ford PAS is introduced to high-school sophomores locally by partners
ranging from civil-rights organizations to universities. Tuskegee University,
for example, has worked with the Macon County school district in Alabama
since January 2004. A university coordinator oversees the program and
recruits guest speakers from the local business community to bring the lessons
to life. When the students are working on business plans, for example, a local
entrepreneur will come in to advise them.
“Every time I pick up an education magazine, it’ll talk about [not
enough] kids graduating with degrees in tech fields,” says Sandy Ulsh,
president of the Ford Motor Company Fund. “Also, when I look at high-