(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Polaroid Corporation - Waltham, MA
Polaroid's Project Bridge began 15 years ago as a unique community human resource program with the local school board. Teachers take a one-year sabbatical from their academic responsibilities and work in a Polaroid facility. The experience allows the teachers to gain valuable life experiences which they take back to the classroom and enhance the educational teachings of the community's young people. In addition, Project Bridge has successfully helped teachers understand the relationship between their academic subjects and industry applications.
During the sabbatical, teachers continue to receive their school's employee benefits package, and the school system receives a reimbursement from Polaroid for the teachers' salaries. Project Bridge also complements Polaroid's intern program, another highly successful community outreach. Polaroid supplements its permanent workforce with students who work for the company while attending colleges and universities. The company pool of prospective applicants is derived from universities, environmental career organizations, minority programs, and resumes. Internships at Polaroid benefit the student's understanding of industrial and business processes, and identify real-world applications of academia requirements.
Project Bridge, the internships, and other human resource community sharing programs demonstrate Polaroid's interest and continued commitment to the surrounding communities. In return, Polaroid gains insight from experienced people who are eager to share their knowledge, and from students who bring an academic perspective on business.
Teachers and students benefit from exposure to real-world business experiences and problems, which they can then apply to their classroom setting. These programs also offer a savings for Polaroid compared to the outsourcing of work to local subcontractors improve its image by having community members involved in daily operations and add to the relationship between Polaroid an the local communities by openly sharing information.