Lockheed Martin has had the division called Camden Operations in south Arkansas since 1979. In addition to providing manufacturing jobs to the area, the company has also been heavily involved with the local schools.
“Camden Operations is a firm believer in supporting STEM education in many ways,” said Colin Sterling, operations manager and deputy site lead, referring to education in science, technology, engineering and math. “We support many nonprofit organizations, reaching out to students through a variety of different avenues, hopefully inspiring them to pursue a field in the STEM area.”
Lockheed Martin hosts activities in the Camden-Fairview School District, as well as in surrounding schools in Ouachita and Calhoun counties, Sterling said.
For example, the company hosts an annual engineering week coinciding with National Engineers Week, brought the Race for Planet X mobile museum to all of the surrounding schools and hosted a family science night at Camden-Fairview.
“All students were invited to attend with parents or guardians,” Sterling said of the science night. “It was hands-on so they could get excited about science both on the student and parent level.”
About 1,200 people attended that event last year, he said.
Sterling said Lockheed Martin employees in Camden logged about 6,200 hours of on-the-clock volunteer service in 2011 and 10,000 combined on- and off-the-clock hours.
Sterling said charitable giving was also important to the company.
“Annually, we contribute about $200,000 to local nonprofit organizations,” he said.
Lockheed Martin works with United Way, Relay for Life, March of Dimes and Habitat for Humanity, Sterling said.
“We believe that success depends on collaborating among ourselves, policy makers, families and the communities in which we live,” Sterling said. “By giving back to those communities and the places we work and live, we’re able to serve them better and make the world better by serving.”