Ford Motor Company Fund to open Ford Resource and Engagement Center in
South Africa – the first global expansion of innovative concept
New center will invest more than 2 million rand (R2 million) annually
in training to help approximately 200 people a year find a job or
start their own small business
New Ford Resource and Engagement Center is part of a five-year, $4
million investment across the African continent to support company’s
growth and its commitment to making people’s lives better
PRETORIA, South Africa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford Motor Company Fund today announced the creation of a new job
training and entrepreneurial development center that will assist
approximately 200 people a year, part of a five-year, $4 million
investment in community building across the African continent.
The new Ford Resource and Engagement Center, slated to open in October,
will be located near Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant outside of
Pretoria, South Africa. It is the second resource center of its kind
created by Ford Fund, the philanthropic branch of Ford Motor Company,
and is modeled after the original Ford Resource and Engagement Center in
The new center marks the first international expansion of the highly
successful project Ford Fund launched to bring nonprofit community
services together in a collaborative environment. Ford will invest more
than 2 million rand (R 2 million) annually in job training there.
“Ford Fund has a proud tradition of strengthening the communities that
are home to our employees, dealers, suppliers and customers,” said Jim
Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “As
our company expands throughout the African continent, we are bringing
our innovative community investment programs to new regions to create a
Ford is joining with Future Families, a South Africa-based nonprofit
that provides services to families and orphans affected by HIV and AIDS,
in operating the new center. The organization will create a range of
training packages designed to prepare clients for finding jobs after
graduating from Ford Resource and Engagement Center. Courses will
include career guidance and presentation skills, financial literacy,
business and entrepreneurial skills, as well as training for vocational
and technical jobs such as plumbing, caregiving, computer and office
Since opening in Detroit three years ago, the original Ford Resource and
Engagement Center has assisted more than 80,000 local residents through
a range of social and cultural services, including providing 1.2 million
pounds of food and helping to complete 6,100 tax returns. In total, the
Detroit Resource and Engagement Center has returned $3 in services to
local community members for every $1 invested by Ford and nonprofits.
Ford Fund works globally by making strategic investments focused on
building communities, improving education and promoting driving safety
as part of its Operation Better World initiative.
In South Africa, Ford Fund programs add to economic investments the
company is making in the region. Last month, Ford announced it is
investing $170 million to expand operations at Silverton Assembly Plant
by adding production of the all-new Ford Everest SUV – a move that will
create 1,200 new jobs.
“Our Ford Better World philosophy is more than just a series of projects
– it permeates everything we do as a company,” said Jeff Nemeth, Ford
president and CEO, Sub Saharan Africa region. “Social, environmental and
economic sustainability are all interlinked and cannot be taken in
isolation from one another. We are proud of this investment in our
community and, ultimately, our people. Education plays a significant
role in our lives and these projects will allow the community to benefit
from our contributions to the economy.”
Ford Fund’s investment in the new center will total more than 11 million
rand (R 11 million), or $750,000, over five years. It is the latest
development in Ford’s growing community presence across Africa as the
company delivers on its broader goal of making people’s lives better.
Over the next five years, Ford Fund will expand its signature education
scholarships, grants and training programs across the continent, as well
as bring additional Driving Skills for Life, Volunteer Corps and other
community improvement projects to Africa.
Recent investments and activities across Africa include:
A $100,000 investment to dramatically expand the Blue Village
initiative in Port Elizabeth is under way. Each year employees from
Silverton Assembly Plant convert containers to create new homes in the
village of Vastrap. In line with supporting education and development,
an early childhood development center was created for children there.
A $100,000 investment to expand the global Ford College Community
Challenge program. Student-led community projects were chosen in
Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa. Each addresses critical local
needs and creates a more sustainable place to live and work.
A $75,000 grant to enable Riders for Health to strengthen
healthcare access for people across Nigeria. The donation will help
Riders extend its vehicle management services by training mechanics to
maintain the wide range of motorcycles, four-wheeled vehicles and
trucks used to deliver medical professionals and supplies in rural
Investment of more than $200,000 to launch Henry Ford
Entrepreneurship Academy in Morocco and expand it to Saudi Arabia.
More than 30 Ford Ranger pickups and other vehicles have been
donated by Ford South Africa in South Africa, Angola and Nigeria for
wildlife conservation and environmental projects, as well as
educational training centers.
Ford South Africa employees have spent more than 6,700 hours on
community service projects as part of Ford Volunteer Corps.
Driving Skills for Life has provided hands-on sessions for more
than 400 students in Saudi Arabia. The global training program for
newly licensed drivers has also held pre-training events in Angola.
More than 1,300 employees went through the program in South Africa,
while an additional 500 people were trained at Ford dealerships there.
About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community
and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community
life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with
ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is
free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development
and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and
impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford
Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning and other inspiring
programs that enhance high school learning and provide college
scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists
more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local
projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in
more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.
For news releases, related materials and high-resolution photos and
video, visit www.media.ford.com.