“Having a heart” isn’t a term we use often when we talk about businesses. As with many other attributes we don’t associate with companies in general, Simpson Strong-Tie is an outlier in this regard. The company definitely has heart, exemplified most in Company Value No. 8 – Give Back.
“We’re all so fortunate. No matter what each of our personal situations is, we know that there are many others in this world who will never have the opportunities we’ve had. It is our responsibility to reach out, in whatever manner we can, to support others. We’re all connected in some way and are all part of a greater community,” declared company founder Barc Simpson.
Value No. 8 addresses the obligation we have to our local and global communities, and how we can effect change to positively impact people’s lives. Simpson Strong-Tie focuses on four key areas to give back: Home Building & Repair, Disaster Relief, Disaster Preparedness & Resilience, and Construction Trades Education.
For decades, we’ve strengthened relationships and created programs with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, donating money, products, time, volunteer hours and expertise to support their mission of building safe, affordable, resilient homes for those most in need. We are regular contributors to American Red Cross to aid relief efforts for those stricken by disasters throughout the world. And we help young people and those who’ve been out of the workforce for some time with the opportunity to explore a stable, rewarding career in the skilled trades.
Being able to create, maintain and expand programs with organizations like Habitat is the most rewarding part of my job. After more than a decade of doing this work, I still get tears from witnessing a new homeowner accept the keys to their house after months (or even years) of “sweat equity.”
As one of their benefits for working at Simpson Strong-Tie, our employees have the opportunity to volunteer on Habitat builds during work hours. Many of them are inspired to continue their give-back efforts beyond a day or two; we have employees who serve on nonprofit boards, receive recognition for their above and beyond accomplishments, and give significant time and energy to causes and organizations they are passionate about.
Simpson Strong-Tie works with numerous organizations beyond Habitat in service of our giving priorities. On that list is Building Talent Foundation, ACE Mentor, and legions of high schools, community colleges and universities. We support the Timber-Strong Design BuildSM Competition for university students nationally with sponsorship, products and technical expertise, as well as the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
Through Scholarship America, the company provides scholarships to students majoring in architecture, civil/structural engineering and construction management/technology at participating schools throughout the country. First-time recipients of the scholarship are invited to an all-paid, week-long visit to Simpson Strong-Tie headquarters and one of our main manufacturing facilities and state-of-the-art R&D lab.
For some of our recipients, this trip may be the first time they’ve left their state, or the first flight they’ve ever taken. It is a deeply impactful trip on many levels, and the experience can create a positive lasting impression of Simpson Strong-Tie for the students as they go on to pursue careers in our industry.
Our efforts in promoting the construction trades have sparked a potential passion for fulfilling, important work in the many youth who have participated in our programs. Watching as a high school student solders their first pipe, or drills a screw through one of our connectors for the first time, is thrilling and satisfying to observe.
In addition to providing employees volunteer opportunities with our nonprofit collaborators, the company hosts an annual companywide day of giving, Do What You Can Day, where facilities across the globe are invited to participate in a meaningful activity in their local community. And outstanding philanthropy by our employees is celebrated and recognized through the Barc Simpson Community Hero Award, providing nonprofit organizations with a $3,000 donation on behalf of the employee who volunteers with them.
With so much division and conflict in the world today, being able to see firsthand the impact our community work makes for individuals and families is powerful. From constructing beds for children who’ve previously slept on the floor with our customer KB Home and the nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace, to assembling birthday bags with Mindful Littles for kids in long-term hospital stays, these acts of service impact not just the receivers, but the givers as well. Simply doing something for others as a group is act that brings us closer together. And that’s at the heart of it all.