Intel volunteers log 100,000 hours, raise $1 million for education

Intel employees and retirees in Arizona volunteered 100,000 hours at schools and nonprofits last year, refurbishing computers, coaching student robotics’ teams, reading stories about technology and science in the classroom, and more.

Now, a $10 match for every hour they volunteered is being given to those same schools and organizations to help Arizona students succeed. A total $1 million is being matched by the technology manufacturing giant’s nonprofit Intel Foundation. 

More than 300 schools and nonprofit organizations statewide are starting to receive the funding, said Linda Qian, communications manager for the Intel Corporation that operates one of its largest global manufacturing sites in Chandler.  

Grants range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, Qian said about the annual fundraising effort. This year, about a third of the company’s 12,000 Arizona employees participated. 

“Many nonprofits from around the state truly depend on the funding and the volunteering to support their efforts to help our students,” she said. 

Chandler schools, nonprofits among top recipients

Among the top recipients of the grants are the Chandler Unified School District, Chandler Service Club, Education Empowers, Joe Jackson Foundation, Si Se Puede Foundation, AZStRUT, and Arizona State University Foundation.   

Several recipients said they plan to use the grants for technology, equipment and other tools to help students succeed, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math. 

With many students working from home during the pandemic, there is greater need for technology, they said.   

Need for technology for schools and youth organizations  

Grant recipient AZStRUT, which refurbishes donated technology for public schools and other nonprofits, has seen a significant rise in requests, Executive Director Tom Mehlert said.

“This year, our efforts are focused on refurbishing laptops going to Title I schools and their families. These funds will be used to purchase replacement parts for these computers,” he said.

Another recipient, Education Empowers, which promotes STEM education for children through robotics and maker activities, is using the funding to purchase robotics equipment and parts, said Anna Prakash, a senior engineer at Intel who founded the organization. 

“We have programs at more than 50 locations, including free workshops for Girl Scouts, so students all across the Phoenix metro-area will benefit from this funding,” Prakash said. 

Dr. Camille Casteel, superintendent of the Chandler school district, said that the timing of the grants is particularly critical right now.  

“It takes the strength of the entire community to educate and empower our students. We are thrilled to have the support of many Intel employee and retiree volunteers, as well as this grant, to further our mission,” Casteel said. 

Forty years of innovation and economic impact 

Intel first established operations in Chandler 40 years ago. Today, Intel’s operations in Arizona are some of the company’s most diverse. The Ocotillo fabrication facility manufactures on 22nm, 14nm, and 10nm technology, some of the world’s most advanced manufacturing processes.

Year after year, the corporation is ranked at or near the top as the largest semiconductor vendor in the world. In Arizona, Intel delivers an annual economic impact of $8.3 billion.

As part of its stated purpose, the corporation supports global education and sustainability. For more information, go to: Intel Corporate Responsibility

Intel by the numbers in Arizona  

• 12,000 employees

• $8.3 billion annual economic impact

• $23 billion in capital investments

• $4.5 billion annual spend with Arizona-based organizations

• 690 million gallons of water to be restored annually through

community-based projects

• $33.8 million in donations to Arizona schools and nonprofits since 2015

• More than 700,000 employee volunteer hours at schools and nonprofits since 2015

(Source: ASU, W.P. Carey School of Business, Seidman Research Institute, 2019)

Victoria Harker

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