“I can’t remember the last time I smiled this much,” said Natural Resources Specialist Chad Ponce while serving at a local event. Hearing lines like this and the follow-up from those who serve, it’s clear that serving others can be just as important as those whom we serve. That’s the beauty of investing in others and our communities.
While staying busy on projects and other year-end responsibilities, our Southeast team made community outreach a priority of our company culture by giving back to communities where we live, work, and play.
Our volunteers helped those with food insecurities by collecting food and supplies for the Second Harvest Food Bank and sponsoring wreaths for the Wreaths Across America day to remember and honor our fallen service members. Our team collected 152 lbs of food estimated to be more than $400 in supplies for those in need.
We spread cheer by sharing our children’s books with students at the Meyer Center for Special Children Trunk or Treat event. This event created a safe and accessible opportunity for children who may not have a traditional trick or treating experience. We also delivered supplies to our furry four-legged friends at the Humane Society of Charlotte, helping the animals stay warm and cared for prior to finding their forever homes. Lastly, we sponsored families and supplied gifts for the holidays with the United Way Project Joy and Toys for Tots drives. This ensured families in the communities we serve were equipped with not only the fun exciting items of the holidays, but also the necessities that keep a household functioning and safe.
As part of their service to the Friends of the Reedy River, Madeleine Bolick, senior GIS specialist, and Katherine Amidon, senior environmental planner, have been providing regular water sampling. They also show community members how to do the sampling while teaching best practices for maintaining high-quality water in their community.
Along with environmental sustainability, our Southeast staff is passionate about providing sustainability throughout the workforce, allowing students to experience what a career could look like in infrastructure improvement. Anna Marie Scoccimaro, landscape designer, and Abby Preston, transportation project engineer, joined a panel discussion at Camp North End for Circle de Luz, an organization that works to empower young Latina girls through mentorship, education, and scholarship funding.
During the panel, the group discussed a variety of important topics including what levels of education are needed for different types of careers and what opportunities are available to gain financial support for continued education. Our panelists were thoughtful in their approach as they set the space up as a living room. This allowed for both the students and panelists to relax while creating an inviting space for safe and inclusive conversation.
Becky Kukowski, senior talent management generalist, brought her daughter to work for a job shadow. She spent a day with Abby Preston, transportation project engineer, and Brittney Woodard, design engineer, learning what it is like to be a female in engineering. Brittany mentioned how rewarding it was to show a future engineer design plans and a little taste of what it looks like to draw up plans in AutoCAD.
Our team takes pride in continuing to make the places we live and work more beautiful. We took advantage of warmer days with team members planting bulbs at the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Bearden Promenade and in the healing gardens at Atrium Health Pineville. Providing spaces with beauty makes our communities more engaging and encourages health and wellness.
We participated in National Park(ing) Day in Charlotte and Mooresville— a global project where people across the world advocate for safer, greener streets for residents by repurposing parking spaces and converting them into parks and various other options. Our team built a parklet and worked with vendors to use some furnishings, including a solar bench, complete with a space to charge your cell phone. We thoughtfully selected furniture that was accessible to all and had a chalkboard that prompted community members to answer, “How can we make our communities more safe, sustainable, and beautiful?” This question set the stage for our community to reflect on how each of us can impact where we live in both big and small ways.
It’s safe to say that in Quarter 4 of 2023, we were truly living out our mission of “Creating Safe, Sustainable, and Beautiful Communities” in our personal and professional lives. If you’re seeking a career where you can fulfill your philanthropic spirit in addition to impacting your community through innovation and creativity, check out our full list of career benefits.