AVON, Ohio – In the five short years since Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America Inc. (KBGCNA) was created, the philanthropic organization has driven ongoing growth in its level of funding, the breadth of programs it supports, and employee engagement at its affiliated companies. All the while, KBGCNA has deepened its commitment to helping young people at risk gain access to education and the opportunity to lead more independent lives.
Since 2018, KBGCNA has done this and more through grants totaling $2.62 million for 32 projects. Each grant advances the corporate foundation’s strategic mission to open new prospects for people in need by promoting education, health and wellness, and social cohesion – through support of charitable organizations focusing on them – in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
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Grants from KBGCNA have supported vocational training for young adults and women, made STEM education a larger part of school curricula, equipped students and classrooms with computers, promoted arts as a viable career among youth, boosted inclusivity, and contributed COVID-19 relief efforts and supplies.
The philanthropic organization is the North American arm of Knorr-Bremse Global Care (KBGC), a global nonprofit entity founded in 2005 and operated by Knorr-Bremse. The Munich, Germany-based Knorr-Bremse is the global market leader in braking systems and leading provider of other systems for rail and commercial vehicles.
KBGCNA centers its investments in the surrounding communities of Knorr-Bremse’s three largest North American companies: Avon, Ohio-based Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix); Westminster, Maryland-based Knorr Brake Company (KBC); and Watertown, New York-based New York Air Brake LLC (NYAB). Each grant is overseen by a project champion, an employee of Bendix, KBC, or NYAB responsible for engaging with the grantee to ensure that the project remains on point from start to finish and seeking ways for local employee engagement, where possible.
“As KBGCNA marks five years, we are honored by how the foundation’s projects have touched the lives of as many as 25,000 people, giving them increased access to education, vocational training, housing, and health and wellness improvements,” said Maria Gutierrez, president of KBGCNA and Bendix senior director, environmental, social, and governance (ESG).
Gutierrez continued, “At the same time, we’re proud of how the foundation has matured and grown – which ties directly to the impact it brings. As we look to the next five years and beyond, we are focused on ensuring we help make a real difference in the communities in which we operate by measuring our impact and building long-term partnerships with local nonprofit organizations. KBGCNA continually reviews what we’re funding and how we operate to ensure we achieve the intended impact.”
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