Here at FlexTrades, we take our corporate core values seriously because they help us achieve our mission of making a difference in the communities where we work and live. All six of our values are aimed at making a difference, but it’s our commitment to Giving Back that most directly showcases the impact our other core values allow us to make where it’s needed most. To celebrate all the good we were able to give back to others in 2023, we’d like to shine a month-by-month spotlight on a year of giving back!
At its core, giving back means providing help without the expectation of return. We want our success to help others be more successful. Through personal channels, we learned that a local high school ski team was in need of a trailer for their gear. We understand the importance of technical equipment and simple solutions, so FlexTrades donated a trailer to the team.
We love giving in all its forms, but our favorite kind of giving is the kind that keeps the giving growing. That’s why FlexTrades has sponsored a corporate Polar Plunge Team for the past six years and counting. Plunging is a fun and rewarding team experience, and it supports a terrific organization in Special Olympics. Our plunges provide funds to ensure that Special Olympic athletes can pursue their personal greatness without worrying about cost or accessibility. FlexTrades plunges have raised more than $20,000 to date and have become an annual tradition.
For most schools and training programs around America, career fair season starts in March. It’s not a coincidence then that our sponsorship of hiring events around the country starts at the same time (and runs throughout the year, too). We believe in the importance of technical education, and we want those pursuing such training to know how they are important to the future of our industry. We provide financial support and employment opportunities through more than a dozen virtual and in-person events every year alongside information and collateral to help students prepare for industry work with any employer.
We started the year intending to give more structure to our charitable efforts as a business, and by April, our Give Back Committee was officially chartered and began developing programs to support the altruistic efforts of our corporate employees, technicians and clients. This committee has already allowed us to diversify our impact and mobilize our ability to help quickly in times of crisis. We can’t wait to see what this committee makes possible with a full year ahead of it in 2024.
Many CrossFit gyms around America hold Murph events as competitions and fundraisers around Memorial Day. A member of our corporate team works out at a gym that held its Murph event in support of the Step Up Foundation. Our teammate asked how we could help support her participation, and FlexTrades became an event sponsor to help Step Up continue to address the ever-growing suicide epidemic within our military veteran population.
FlexTrades attended SkillsUSA Nationals for the first time. Our goal was to bring exposure to a great organization helping to support the skilled trades. The result was that we got to meet the next generation of the trades face to face. We were blown away by the young people we met, and we’re even more excited for the future of manufacturing than we were before attending. Giving back is always great, but we especially love it when it gives us hope in return!
We believe in advocating for your industry, and we try hard to provide people in the skilled trades with tools to make that easier. That’s part of the reason why we created our own activity book for kids. We want them to be able to see themselves in the trades, and we want to provide those who work with youth tools that make that possible. Throughout 2023, we gave out hundreds of activity books through our on-site appearances and through our technical education partners.
We held our annual all-company meeting/summer party this August. We worked. We learned. We had fun. But we also made sure to make time to give back. During the party we set time aside so our entire corporate team could help Wine to Water prepack hygiene packs. Wine to Water works to preserve life and dignity around the world through the power of clean water. Through our efforts, hundreds of additional people will have access to basic hygiene while dealing with a water related disaster or emergency.
The Hana Mohammad Scholarship Golf Tournament began in 2022. FlexTrades has been an event sponsor from the start and 2023 marked the second year of our support for this impactful event. This tournament is held to honor the memory of a wonderful educator and funds raised directly support Beacons of Influence. This organization raises, manages, and distributes resources to support, enhance and promote the educational opportunities technical colleges offer in and around Minnesota.
While preparing for an upcoming office relocation, we found quite a lot of PMG swag still hanging around. Attempting to make all that unusable (for our purposes) swag make the biggest difference possible, we partnered with Joseph’s Coat to deliver hundreds of new and unused clothing, outerwear, and other essential goods like toiletry bags to those most in need.
Several members of our Technical Recruiting Team used their VTO (voluntary time off) hours to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children. Every employee has access to VTO hours to make a difference in their community annually without having to work “around” work. The work this team did will ensure that many people experiencing food insecurity around the world will have the nutrition needed to get through another day.
A member of our corporate team recently received some unexpected health news. Dealing with these challenges will require this employee to miss a lot of work in the coming months. This news is scary enough for anyone to receive. But adding the non-health worries that come along with missed work creates even more complications for our teammate. Luckily, we have the ability to donate PTO to our coworkers here at FlexTrades. In less than two weeks, almost 70 hours of PTO have been donated!
These aren’t the only ways we gave back in 2023, but they are some excellent examples of the charitable initiatives we support throughout the year. We can’t wait to see what kind of difference we can make in 2024 and beyond!