BSH's $1 million philanthropy: how more local organizations can reap the benefits

·3 min read

BSH Home Appliances not only employs 1,682 people in the New Bern area but has also given $1 million in donations to the community over the past five years.

And they are looking to expand partnerships in 2022.

Through different fundraisers, initiatives and the Bosch Community Fund, BSH has supported local organizations like CarolinaEast Foundation, Craven County Community College and Craven County Partners in Education.

Andy MacLaren, site manager and BSH employee since 2002, said giving back to the New Bern community is part of the company’s DNA and is important to him personally.

BSH employs 1,682 employees and 75% live in Craven County.
BSH employs 1,682 employees and 75% live in Craven County.

About 75% of the site’s employees are from Craven County and many were born there. MacLaren believes it is his, and BSH’s responsibility to support them and their families in the community.

“I always said when I first started that if I was ever able to do something for the community and for the people that I’ve been working with over the last 20 years, I would take advantage of it, and I feel privileged to be able to help,” MacLaren said.

The bulk of donations comes from the Bosch Community Fund, amounting to $827,000 over the past five years. The fund began in 2011 and aims to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and sustainability projects.

Funds are awarded to sites based on its number of employees and any STEM-related nonprofit is encouraged to apply. BSH likes to partner with the same organizations year after year, however, will be looking for new groups in 2022.

A national team recommends which organizations should receive the money and a local team can either approve or deny them.

This year, the organizations that reaped the benefits of the Bosch Community Fund were the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coastal Plain, Jones County Schools, Eastern Carolina Young Men's Christian Association, Craven County School District, Sound Rivers, Craven Smart Start and North Carolina Coastal Federation

Sound Rivers, a nonprofit protecting the health of the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River Basins, used money received from the fund to implement the Craven County Schools: Restoration and Education program at four high schools and will add a fifth with this year's money.

Through control measures implemented by the students, stormwater pollution entering the Neuse River has already been reduced.

Applications open in March or April and money is awarded in July or August. To learn more about the application process, interested parties can contact BSH at 252-636-4200.

BSH has donated $1 million over the past five years to the local community.
BSH has donated $1 million over the past five years to the local community.

In addition to the Bosch Community Fund, BSH also donates around $50,000 a year to local charities, not necessarily related to STEM. These funds typically go to groups that employees are involved in and have requested funds for.

“We try to do it through people at BSH that know nonprofits and then once we have that nonprofit sponsored, we try to stay with those every year,” MacLaren said.

BSH powers through industry struggles

BSH is one of New Bern’s largest private employers and like companies all over the nation, is facing recruitment and retention issues.

To date in 2021, New Bern’s BSH site has hired 182 people and is looking to fill another 25 to 30 positions.

They are currently looking for second shift — 4 p.m. to midnight — employees and have had a higher turnover rate than before. MacLaren said that once a new hire stays past the six-month mark, retention rates drastically increase.

“We require a high school education and a willingness to work,” MacLaren said. “We will take care of the rest.”

BSH also has an apprenticeship program with Craven Community College that pays for a student’s education if they work for them afterwards.

MacLaren said that BSH values its employees and strives to create an environment where people want to come to work.

Those interested in employment opportunities with BSH can learn more at https://www.bsh-group.com/us/career.

“We truly value and understand that our people here working are the most important part of what we do,” MacLaren said.

Growth and Development Reporter Julia Masters can be reached at jmasters@gannett.com or 828-318-3108.

This article originally appeared on Sun Journal: BSH marks $1 million in local donations, how nonprofits can benefit

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