Nearly 2,500 volunteers from GE were dispersed to 21 different schools in Milwaukee and Waukesha to help refresh the facilities for the upcoming school year. GE Community Service Day is a 21-year tradition in southeastern Wisconsin and one of GE’s largest single-day volunteer events worldwide.
GE employees and friends spent their day at 17 different Milwaukee Public Schools and four Waukesha Public Schools painting, cleaning, landscaping, and organizing classrooms to create an environment conducive for learning for the thousands of students that will walk through the school doors in the coming weeks.
“Everyone in our community has a stake in the education of our students. It’s heartening to see partners such as GE taking a hands-on, leadership role in improving the learning environment in our schools,” said MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver.
The GE employees that volunteered represent three different GE businesses that are located in southeastern Wisconsin: GE Healthcare, GE Power & Water and GE Capital. GE Healthcare is one of the top ten employers in the Milwaukee area providing jobs to approximately 6,000 people.
Tom Westrick, vice president – global controllership for GE Healthcare, said that volunteerism is part of the GE culture and that the employees feel great about rolling up their sleeves, using their brawn and supporting education.
“We know a good education is critical for young people and we want to help set the tone for learning through inspiring murals and freshly painted spaces,” Westrick added. “One of GE’s priorities is education. We will be back in many of these schools to help deliver programs and get kids excited about science, math and innovation.”
One of the schools GE volunteers were at was MPS’s Clement Zablocki Elementary on Milwaukee’s southside. More than 100 people volunteered at this location by landscaping around the school, updating the playground with a large painted map of the United States, moving several classrooms, painting murals inside the school, setting up a computer lab, sprucing up the teachers and parents lounge, as well as general cleaning and painting,
“Zablocki Elementary School is proud to have this great partnership with GE and we look forward to empowering one another through our volunteer efforts,” said Zablocki School Principal Christopher Garza. “Our combined efforts will strengthen the pride our students have for our school as well as benefit from the completed projects that will support their learning.”
GE Community Service Day is truly a team effort. GE employees prepare for this day for months, and work closely with the principals and school leaders to identify needs and set priorities. In addition to employees of GE, other partners join in including representatives from Junior Achievement, friends and family members of employees and some members of the front office staff of the Milwaukee Bucks.
GE Volunteers in southeastern Wisconsin contributed more than 30,000 volunteer hours in 2014 to local schools and organizations to help improve the community.
GE Community Service Day 2015 locations included: Banting Elementary (Waukesha), Barack Obama, Butler Middle School, Byron Kilbourn, Clement Zablocki, Craig Montessori, Dr. Martin Luther King, Engleburg, Forest Home, Hopkins Lloyd, Horning (Waukesha), James Madison, Lincoln Center of the Arts, Lloyd Barbee, Manitoba, Morgandale, Roosevelt Creative Arts, Samuel Clemens, Victory, Washington High School, and Waukesha South.