Here at Ford, our employees are the drivers behind our successes, including our planned launch of 23 new or significantly refreshed vehicles for 2014 – the most aggressive launch schedule in our history. As we continue to witness surging global demand for our products, we rely ever more deeply on the skills and talents of our dedicated work force of some 181,000 individuals.
In late 2013 we launched “Programa Viva Bem,” with the goal of improving the quality of life of Ford and non-Ford employees and their relatives.
The program is based on four pillars: movement, nutrition, health promotion and zero dependence, The aim of Viva Bem is to provide information and foster a healthy lifestyle.
This program reduces absenteeism while reflecting positively on Ford’s social commitment. It also reinforces the image of Ford South America as an employer with a quality-of-life orientation and as an overall great place to work
Our company’s future success is dependent upon technically trained professionals. Therefore it is critical that we develop a pipeline of such professionals and that we create opportunities for students to become more engaged in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). During 2013, a few of the educational programs that were available for employees, or to develop the next generation of employees, included the following:
- In Brazil, Ford and Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia signed a technical cooperation agreement for product development and engineering education, creating new partnership opportunities for research and technology development.
- In Venezuela, an online English program, English for Everybody, was launched, with the objective of providing a flexible learning tool for all employees to learn or improve their English skills. In addition, specialized courses were offered to cover the English development needs of particular employees.
- In order to improve the professional and personal development of employees at the Valencia Plant, 341 workers participated in 16 different courses and workshops, such as finance for non-finance personnel, effective communications, effective presentations, and advanced and intermediate Microsoft Excel.
- In Venezuela, a number of online and in-person training sessions were offered, on safety, legal and health matters to provide employees with tools that allow them to maintain and improve their working conditions. Employee participation in these sessions was high, with 93 percent attendance out of 1,322 employees invited.
- In Argentina, a new classroom for seventh-year students was opened at the Henry Ford Technical School, and the school’s facilities were renovated with cutting-edge technology. In addition, an open science fair took place at the school for the local community. The Henry Ford Technical School was founded in 1965 by Ford Argentina with the aim of contributing to society by providing technical education, which is key to local industry development. The school is located inside the Pacheco Plant and has educated 43 classes of technicians since its founding. Many of the graduates are Ford Argentina’s employees.
- Alongside the Henry Ford Technical School is CENS 451, a high school for adults who have not completed their education. This school offers classes in the afternoons and evenings to accommodate work schedules.
- During the past 14 years, between 20 and 30 advanced students from a school in the same district as the Pacheco Plant have worked as trainees in different areas of the plant, in order to gain professional experience.
- We offer guided tours of our Pacheco Plant to educational institutions, so that students can see some of our production processes. In 2013, more than 2,000 visitors from 70 different schools and universities took guided tours.
If we want to continue delivering market-leading features and technologies that will appeal to an increasingly diverse customer base, we must reflect that diversity ourselves. Serving a global customer base requires employees with different viewpoints and perspectives, all working together as members of a skilled and motivated team.
At Ford, we are focusing on women as a key demographic as we launch our biggest product expansion in our history – 23 new or significantly refreshed vehicles to market in 2014. We especially need talented women to develop and market our vehicles if we want to reach this demographic. In Brazil, for example, female engineers and technicians are playing a key role in designing and engineering our global platforms. Also, in Brazil and Argentina, Ford celebrated International Women’s Day. In Argentina, a special gift was sent to key female influencers, media journalists and celebrities. Ford Brazil and Venezuela paid tribute to female employees by highlighting their work in key areas of new projects.
For a discussion of our global commitment to our stakeholders, please see the People section.
Ford Motor Company has a long legacy of compassion. More than 100 years after the company began, we continue to touch lives. Our commitment to supporting local communities through charitable contributions and volunteer efforts has remained unwavering.
As we continue to expand our business in new markets across the globe, we are also expanding our community investment and volunteering efforts internationally. In 2013, we continued to expand our global reach through our Operation Better World program. Launched in 2012, Operation Better World is a coordinated, strategic approach to how Ford engages with communities everywhere we do business. In 2013, we expanded the program from India and China to South America, Mexico and Europe.
Through this program, the Ford Fund cooperates with nongovernmental organization partners in four key areas: education, auto safety, community needs and sustainability (with a focus on water). The Ford Fund works to ensure that programs meet local community needs, align with the One Ford business plan, have a measurable impact and, where possible, can be replicated in other markets. This grassroots engagement in the community is implemented and led by the local Ford teams in each region.
Through employee-led initiatives, as well initiatives like the Global Week of Caring and the Henry Ford Environmental Awards, Ford has made a positive impact on communities and environmental issues throughout South America.
During 2013, employee-led initiatives included the following:
- Ford employees at the São Bernardo do Campo Plant, São Paulo state, provided Easter treats for underprivileged children in kindergartens and orphanages in the region. Around 150 Easter eggs were distributed at three institutions.
- In celebration of Mother’s Day, Ford Brazil’s employees at the São Bernardo do Campo Plant collected disposable diapers for children in need. In Venzuela, 50 baskets with essential baby supplies were taken to the Maternidad del Sur hospital for underprivileged young mothers.
- Ford’s employees at São Bernardo do Campo held a “22nd Friends Meeting,” which brought together about 130 people to celebrate the friendship born between professionals from different areas and different teams from the company. The event promoted interaction among employees and collected donations for the institution CAJEC, which supports children and adolescents with cancer.
- Tatuí Proving Ground (TPG) hosted the TPG first bike tour, led by a local team, in which the employees and service providers had the opportunity to ride through the grounds of the plant. The event reinforced the importance of employee health, but also contributed to the community as over 80 toys were collected for donation to many underprivileged children. As the BIKE TOUR took place on December 1st, World AIDS Day, the event also included a lecture delivered by Dr. Luiz Carlos Saladini, the medical coordinator of the Proving Ground.
- The Henry Ford Environmental Award is a prestigious award that has been granted for 11 years to recognize exceptional projects and initiatives that prioritize environmental protection. “Californian Red Earthworm: Integral Eco-Farms” was the project that received the award on 2013.
- Ford volunteers at Valencia helped to create a magical Christmas for sick children. Wearing Santa’s uniforms, they first took a walk through the plant’s administrative building and delivered Christmas wishes to all employees. Then, they visited the oncology unit of the Carabobo Hospital and donated presents to more than 160 children and adolescents with cancer.
- Ford employees in Venezuela donated medicine, diapers and other disposable hygiene products to support the Fundación Martins program. This institution supports disabled children and adolescents.
- Ford of Venezuela, together with the local basketball team Trotamundos de Carabobo, sponsored a basketball championship in which underprivileged children from the Valencia community had the opportunity to learn from professional players on the court. The initiative was supported by the Children’s Basketball Federation of Venezuela.
- Since 1968, Ford Argentina has developed – along with its dealers – the Education for a New Tomorrow Program, an educational program for rural schools. The program’s main objective is to help local communities by opening or reopening schools by providing safe and drinkable water, electricity, low-cost maintenance design, security and comfort solutions and eco-friendly facilities. All materials used in the design and building are recycled and recyclable, and energy is provided by renewable sources, such as the installation of hot water systems using solar collectors, among other eco-friendly options. Since the renewal of the program in 2002, Ford Argentina and its dealers –which work as school sponsors — have succeeded in reopening 20 schools. In 2013, two new schools were opened in the northern region of Argentina.
- During the month of June, a special day was dedicated for employees to donate blood. More than 20 volunteers participated.
- Many hourly employees at the Pacheco Plant raised funds and received donations for rural schools from different regions of the country. During 2013, these groups managed to travel more than 45,000 kilometers in 53 trips organized during weekends. The schools that received these donations belonged to vulnerable communities located in the provinces of Salta, Formosa, Gran Chaco, Santiago del Estero and Entre Ríos.
- Ford Argentina Trucks has prepared a Cargo truck for donation campaigns. The truck was designed to carry donations along with Si! Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps people living in the streets in vulnerable places of all over the country.
Global Week of Caring
In 2013, Ford South America participated in the eighth Global Week of Caring, an initiative that encourages employees to take part in community projects worldwide:
- The volunteer actions began with the presence of Odontomóvel, a mobile dental office, in Tatuí, where the Ford Proving Ground is located. The dental office, which is installed on a Ford Cargo 815 chassis, performed more than 50 free procedures to the local population. The Ford Citizenship Committee also collected about 600 kg of food, donated to Recanto do Bom Velhinho, a nursing home, as part of Global Week of Caring.
- In Camaçari, Bahia, employees from the Ford Industrial Complex delivered oral hygiene kits to the Emanuel Childcare Institute.
- At the Taubaté plant, Ford workers carried out a professional development forum for about 50 students from the Juvenile Guard, an institute that prepares adolescents from 15 to 17 years of age for the Brazilian job market. Ford employees presented lectures on subjects such as communication, behavior and self-development, as well as providing career testimonials.
- In Venezuela at the Valencia Plant, a group of volunteers visited a retirement home called Mi Viejo Antonio and took essential products such as medicines, food, mattresses, pillows and disposable hygiene products to support the institution, with cares for underprivileged elderly citizens.
- In Argentina, volunteers from different areas of the company built houses along with the nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity.
Explore a full list of our Global Week of Caring and other volunteerism efforts in South America.