Harrodsburg Community Involvement

Community Outreach

Community Outreach

Harrodsburg Employees Host STEM Camp

Harrodsburg area 3rd through 5th grade students attended a one-week STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) camp for the second summer in a row, made possible by a grant from the Corning Incorporated Foundation.  Utilizing a program from Camp Invention, a nationally recognized program affiliated with the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Ohio, the camp stresses fun, hands-on activities that teach problem-solving and teamwork.

Engineering Fellow Shawn Markham from Corning Glass Technologies helped support the grant and attended the last day of the camp.  Shawn, who brought Victor (Corning® Gorilla® Glass) along to meet the students, talked with the kids and answered their questions about Corning and STEM. “The camp teaches kids that science doesn’t have to be scary or impossible to understand,” Shawn said. “It’s fun and creative, and it provides a good introduction to science, technology, engineering, and math subjects.”

Community outreach and charitable giving are a cornerstone of the Harrodsburg culture.

Harrodsburg Volunteers Clean Up River

Harrodsburg Volunteers Clean Up River

Volunteers organized by the Environmental, Health, and Safety Department at the Corning Glass Technologies plant helped remove five tons of fallen trees and limbs last month that were jamming a dam in Harrodsburg. The cleanup was just weeks after the department handed out 350 new red bud trees to employees to celebrate Arbor Day in April.

“We didn’t plan our volunteering to be all about trees in 2017, but we are happy with how it worked out,” said Joanna, environmental technician. “It was a great opportunity to give back to the community.”

Employees were looking for another volunteer opportunity after the tree giveaway when the Mercer County Chamber of Commerce asked Corning and the city of Harrodsburg to team up and remove fallen trees from a dam on the Salt River where there had been flooding, Joanna said.

The crews converged on the dam on July 21, with volunteers from Corning – including two summer interns – and four city employees. They removed the debris in three hours thanks to the help of power saws, backhoes, and dump trucks, Joanna said.

“The volunteerism and giving within the plant is a fundamental component of the culture here,” said Plant Manager Amy Porter. “Employees are both environmentally and socially focused. It is impressive to watch the involvement, teamwork, and impact that our employees have on the community and the Salt River cleanup is one example of this.”

The volunteers were happy to make a difference.

Bill, the Environmental, Health, and Safety manager, said volunteering is a way of life at work “with your hands, heart or wallet … it’s contagious.”

The Corning facility has been in Harrodsburg for 65 years and it’s hard to separate Corning employees from the community, Bill said. “Volunteering is rewarding for our employees and provides a great service to about 10,000 residents.”

It was a good opportunity to be part of something that helps the community, said Jamie, a Corning volunteer. “One of the things I love about Corning is its strong ties and support of the communities near their facilities. We are not just a company in a town, but actually a contributing member.”

Patrick, a new employee at the Harrodsburg facility, said it was an ideal way to get to know some of the employees while helping the city. “It is important for Corning employees to be active in our communities because living the Corning Values doesn’t end every day at 5 p.m.,” he said. “Corning employees have a wealth of knowledge, skills, and expertise that gives us the ability to make positive and meaningful impacts in our communities.”

Harrodsburg produces Corning® Gorilla® Glass and is a hot glass development site that also works on projects with Specialty Materials, Corning Pharmaceutical Technologies, and the Emerging Innovations Group.

Harrodsburg Volunteers Befriend Seniors

Harrodsburg Volunteers Befriend Seniors

A United Way Day of Caring by Harrodsburg employees last fall at the Mercer County Senior Citizens Center has blossomed into a lasting friendship. Corning volunteers said they have developed personal ties with the senior citizens, and a one-time visit has turned into monthly lunches and chair volleyball games.

Karl, a Corning employee, started it when he was the United Way leader for the Corning Glass Technologies facility in 2016 and suggested the senior center visit as its Day of Caring project.

“I have many fond memories of being close to my grandparents when I was growing up, so I thought rather than building or cleaning something, let’s go have a good time with the folks at the center,” he said. “We had so much fun with them that we decided to make monthly visits in 2017.”

On the last Wednesday of each month, usually six to eight employees spend two to three hours with the seniors. After one hour of chair volleyball, the Corning employees serve lunch, and then sit down to eat and talk with the seniors. Sometimes, employees will stay for Bingo after lunch, or help deliver meals to homebound seniors.

It’s become so popular among employees and plant leadership that they take turns going. There is a sign-up sheet that fills up quickly, Karl said.

“We enjoy sitting and listening to their stories, and in some cases, we get to visit with Corning retirees,” Karl said. “They will tell us what it was like when they worked there in the 1960s and 1970s. It’s always a special day.”

Corning has deep roots in Harrodsburg and will soon celebrate its 65th anniversary.

Engineering Fellow Shawn Markham said Corning is a second- and third-generation company in many locations. “Volunteering in the community helps us to stay connected across those generations,” she said. “When we visit the senior center, we meet those who have retired or have children, nieces, nephews who do or did work here. When we work with the schools, we are supporting the future first, second or third generation of potential employees.”

B.J., a volunteer for the program, said volunteering helps those arriving from out of the area to meet people in the community. She has talked with seniors who have family ties to the plant.

“One day, I talked to one retiree and two other seniors who have children that work at the plant,” she said. “The employee’s daughter was there visiting her grandmother, and the employee stopped by later to tell me how pleased he is that we volunteer there.”

Brian, a volunteer, said he can see the seniors appreciate having younger people to tell stories to. The chair volleyball games are always fun – and can get competitive – but the personal connections he makes with residents are what make the visits memorable, Brian said.

“I can see that Corning is a big part of the Harrodsburg community,” he said. “It’s important that we are good corporate citizens and that the community can be proud to have Corning in the area.”