People and Communities
Education Programs, Brazil
Launched toward the end of 2015, the Ford Youth Education Program offers teaching support and technical training for up to 100 disadvantaged and very-low-income public school students per year. As part of the training, students are able to visit other industries and interact with Ford executives. They also receive food, transportation and dental treatment with the Ford Odontomóvel mobile dental service. On successful completion, candidates can apply for apprenticeships at Ford. Some of the first intake of students are already working as apprentices with us at our Camaçari plant.
In 2016, our education outreach in sustainability and the environment engaged 1,450 students and 133 teachers from 40 public schools. The learning activities and interactive experiences take place in our Environmental Center at our Camaçari plant.
The Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering program is a global initiative that aims to donate $1 million in scholarships for 10 years, covering 10 universities around the world. Brazil is the only country besides the United States to participate in the 2015 and 2016 editions.
Odontomóvel (Mobile Dental Service), Brazil
Active since 2011, the Odontomóvel is a fully equipped, free, mobile dental clinic. It focuses on children aged 2 to 15 in public schools, selected in partnership with the public health and education authorities, prioritizing those regions with low provision of dental services.
The first Odontomóvel in Camaçari was assembled in a Ford Transit van. It has helped almost 11,000 people, providing dental care, prevention and education about dental health. Since 2015, we also provide a complete infrastructure for a variety of dental procedures geared toward public school students in Taubaté (São Paulo) and Horizonte (Fortaleza) using a F-350 truck platform.
Early in 2017, we delivered the second Odontomóvel unit for Camaçari using a F-350 truck. This further expands and strengthens the company’s social responsibility in the region.
Sustainable Backpacks for Schoolchildren, Brazil
Each year, Ford distributes 10,000 sustainable backpacks full of useful items to public schoolchildren from low-income and underprivileged families in Camaçari, in partnership with Projeto Axé, a leading nonprofit organization.
The project generates a range of positive impacts. The backpacks contain school materials to help motivate students to continue with their studies, improve their confidence and build self-esteem. The backpacks themselves are made from recycled Ford uniforms by the children’s mothers. The women are offered training in how to sew and how to make the backpacks, which provides an opportunity to learn seamstressing skills and potentially earn extra income.
Support for Education and Social Programs, Argentina and Venezuela
One of our most important education initiatives in Argentina is the Rural Schools Program. This began in 1968 with the aim of improving pupils’ quality of life. Forty-one schools were built and since 2002, in partnership with Ford dealers, we have been progressively refurbishing the schools to enhance their facilities and incorporate environmental technologies. The most recent school to be renovated is Rural School No. 138, in the village of Mascasín in the northeast of the country.
At primary school level, we continue to promote reading and literacy (with NGO Fundación Leer) and confidence-building (with NGO Conciencia).
In 2016, the Henry Ford Technical School marked its 51st year inside our plant. The school is financially supported through the contribution of families and of Ford. Scholarships are awarded to high school children through the support provided to NGO Cimientos. The school’s facilities are used for free secondary education for adults, and are also used by NGO Forge to provide free courses to underprivileged young people to help them into work.
To support university education, we provide internships and scholarships through the University of San Andrés Foundation.
Other social action initiatives in Argentina in partnership with leading NGOs and nonprofits include:
Ford Driving Skills for Life (with civil association Luchemos por la Vida) – Driver education for 15 to 18-year-olds through a new online portal and through face-to-face workshops in schools
With Fundación Sí – Providing a fleet of 15 Ford vehicles to transport food and other essential items to poorer communities. Approximately 10,000 people have benefited
With Movimiento Agua y Juventud – Since 2014, Ford’s support has helped give more than 100 families and three communities in rural areas access to a safe, secure water supply
With Las Tunas – Supporting the Youth Orchestra in the poor community of Las Tunas, Buenos Aires
With CONIN, an organization dedicated to eradicating malnutrition – Creating a platform to help professionals and malnutrition centers across the country to share best practices and training in infant health and well-being
Our Leading Your Future education program in Venezuela provides technical training to disadvantaged young people and is supported by a team of Ford volunteers.
Our Global Caring Month
Once again, there was a huge amount of activity in support of communities during the annual Global Caring Month. In Argentina, the active volunteer program and community engagement initiatives were recognized with a social impact award from the governor of Buenos Aires province.
In Brazil, volunteers from our Camaçari plant worked to improve facilities at a daycare center for children, and equipment was also donated. In Colombia, Ford workers supported the Bogotá food bank. In Venezuela, more than 100 Ford volunteers worked for 300 hours to restore areas of a music school.
Supporting Our Employees Through Difficult Times
The extremely challenging economic conditions in Brazil and the consequent severe reduction of industry sales and turnover have led to surplus capacity in our workforce. We have sought every opportunity to reduce the impact on our staff.
In the São Bernardo plant, for example, we created Projeto Fusão – an initiative to adjust production to demand, which had never been done before. Employees worked on producing cars on some days of the week and trucks on other days, which enabled us to make more flexible use of our workforce.
We delayed making layoffs where possible, offering alternatives such as temporary remunerated arrangements. Also, we created voluntary retirement programs for those who wanted to leave with some remuneration. We continue to do our best to support our employees in this period of extreme economic challenge.