Corning Optical Fiber and Cable Business Gives Back to Local Communities

Optical Business Gives Back to Local Communities

Corning Optical Fiber and Cable Business Participates in United Way Day of Action

Recently, six Optical Fiber and Cable (OFC) colleagues were joined by OFC General Manager John Igel and wife Becky Igel at Pathways, Inc. to build two wheelchair-accessible planter beds for the United Way Day of Action 2017.

“Our ‘Day of Action’ project was both fun and rewarding,” Igel said. “I enjoyed working with my OFC colleagues and getting to know them better outside of our day-to-day work. There is something particularly rewarding about doing good things together.”

Pathways is a not-for-profit organization that reaches the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Rochester, New York, areas. It impacts nearly 2,000 individuals through its core programs, which include Residential Services, Community-Based Services, Educational Services, and Home & Habilitation Services.

Each OFC volunteer was gifted with a hand-painted flower pot by the folks at Pathway for their help and participation.

“This was a great opportunity to work with my peers and colleagues, and partner with a local organization,” said Emilee, another volunteer from Corning working with the group. “I’m excited for future opportunities like these where we can have a positive impact on those in our community.”

Wilmington Employees Take on World Hunger

Employee resource groups (ERGs), interns, and plant staff and leadership at the Optical Communications plant worked together in June to assemble more than 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief program.

Rise Against Hunger focuses on sustainable community development by providing meal making education and skills training to impoverished areas. Having a basic nutritional needs met enables self-supporting communities to rise, according to the organization.

Dehydrated meals with vegetables, rice, soy, and 23 vitamins and minerals are packaged and distributed throughout the world. The 10,000 meals packed on June 8 are scheduled to be shipped to Sierra Leone in August. The plant will receive notification and photos of the meals arriving at their destination.

Rise Against Hunger estimates it usually takes 50 volunteers about two hours to prepare 10,000 meals, but Wilmington employees, accustomed to a fast-paced manufacturing environment, finished in less than 90 minutes. Rise Against Hunger called it record-setting teamwork.

Organized by the plant’s Corning Professional Women’s Forum (CPWF), the event also served as the staff’s welcome to the plant’s 10 summer interns. Two Corning employees, Dora and Terrie, planned the event with Rise Against Hunger.

“It’s a great way for our ERGs to help those in need. We used the opportunity as an example to show the interns how we use teamwork every day at Corning, both in our jobs and in the community,” said Katie, president of the CPWF chapter. Members from the Society of Black Professionals (SBP) and Ethnically Diverse Group of Employees (EDGE) ERG chapters also participated.

The Corning volunteers, working in an assembly line, had to precisely weigh and measure food amounts for each meal. After the contents were sealed, the meals were boxed and palletized for delivery. Throughout the process, participants rotated roles and filled in where needed to keep the lines producing and allow for more networking among the groups.

 “We wanted to show our interns what Corning is all about, that we can work together efficiently on large projects in the plant as well as in our community,” Dora said. “Regardless of your role in Wilmington, we have a good employee climate and work well together to meet our daily and long-term goals.”

The interns were scattered throughout the multi-station meal assembly line to meet as many employees as possible, Terrie said. “It was a great networking event for our interns and an opportunity to show them, through volunteering, that Corning values the individual.”

The interns were impressed with what they experienced.

“It was great to work together with employees I might not have met otherwise during my internship,” said Matthew, an intern working in plant engineering. “The program highlighted how the Wilmington team works together and genuinely cares about adding value to the lives of other people.”

Another plant engineering intern called it a rewarding experience. “The employees set a great example with their professionalism and generosity in helping others in need.”

The three ERGs often work together on their volunteer programs and other events such as speakers or training to reach a wider audience. Corey, EDGE chapter president, said the hunger program is an important way to include the interns in the Corning culture.

“If you want to understand a company’s culture, you need to interact in an active way with colleagues from all levels,” said Corey. “This event allows the interns to network in a zero-risk environment and to develop a stronger understanding of who we are as a company and a facility.”

SBP member Michael said it’s important for interns to understand that they are here not only for the learning experience, but the life experience. “Helping others by doing volunteer work is something that should be ingrained in us. We hope that interns will leave here with the understanding that a balance between work and community service is important.”