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Early success in four cities, including Danbury

AZDEL : 22 January, 2006  (Company News)
GE Capital Solutions announced today a unique community outreach program called In the Community, For the Community or
ICFC combines GE Capital Solutions’ more traditional forms of giving, such as community volunteerism and financial support, with GECS’s best practice sharing. It comes at a time when non-profits are being challenged to enhance operations on shoestring budgets, hire and retain talented people and drive change.

A trial ICFC program was just completed in October in Danbury with the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut. A GE Six Sigma black belt led 24 YMCA employees and board members through a full day session of Change Acceleration Process training at GE Capital Solutions Danbury headquarters. CAP is a set of principles and tools GE follows and uses to accelerate the acceptance and implementation of change.

“The hands-on training was an outstanding opportunity for the YMCA to learn how to use work process tools and techniques,' said Gary Kozak, President and CEO of the Regional YMCA. “The lessons learned are being applied to help us improve several key areas of our organization.”

According to Karen Dougherty, GE Capital Solutions’ Global ACFC Leader who led the training, “Non-profits face many of the same operational and organizational challenges that for-profit businesses confront. Opening the GE tool box and sharing best practices we use to manage and grow our business is an added value to non-profits,” said Dougherty. “We share our intellectual capital with our customers through GE’s unique At the Customer, For the Customer program, so adding it to our community outreach efforts made a lot of sense.”

Elizabeth Goehring, Capital Solutions’ Corporate Citizenship Manager, agrees. “We saw an opportunity to do more than write a check to help non-profit partners like YMCA. GE Capital Solutions decided to build the program around after-school programming. It’s an area of great need and touches all three of the focus areas, education, disadvantaged youth and families, and building stronger communities, that we look to impact through our community outreach efforts.” Goehring noted that an estimated 14 million children in the US come home from school to an empty home and that children who spend 20-35 hours per week engaged in constructive learning activities are significantly more like to succeed in school.

In addition to the CAP training session, more than 125 Capital Solutions’ employees in June rolled up their sleeves and volunteered on several large paint and fix projects at four YMCA sites in the greater Danbury area. In November GE Capital Solutions made a $30,000 contribution to help underwrite the Y’s Escape to the Arts Center in Danbury, which provides fine arts based after school programming for low-income middle school students in the area.

The ICFC pilot program also debuted at three other non-profit organizations: CommonBond Communities in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Arizona and the Girls & Boys Brigade in Sydney, Australia.
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