The Hitachi Foundation Launches the Good Companies, Good Jobs Strategy; Makes $11 Million in Gifts as it Prepares to Close

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Hitachi Foundation today announced the launch of the Good Companies, Good Jobs Strategy that includes three final gifts totaling $11 million and that the Foundation will cease operations in December 2016. The unrestricted monetary gifts and their recipients are $4 million to the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC; $4 million to the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and $3 million to Investors’ Circle in Durham, North Carolina.

As part of a three-year planning process in advance of closing, the Foundation’s board developed the Good Companies, Good Jobs Strategy to address a critical question of our time: In this rapidly changing workforce environment, how do we make work work for the many people who feel stuck and left behind? “Our vision for this strategy is to deepen the quality and accelerate the pace of progress toward a future in which good companies and good jobs are the norm,” said Patrick Gross, the Foundation’s board chair.

The Hitachi Foundation also developed the Good Companies, Good Jobs Strategy as a way to transition its financial, intellectual and human capital assets. “Anchored in these three remarkable institutions we have an opportunity to build something that far exceeds the sum of its parts,” said Barbara Dyer, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “Our hope is that the collective efforts across this strategy will enable the nation to tilt toward optimism and replace fear with confidence as Americans succeed in making a living and businesses succeed because of their people. Through these financial gifts, we hope to build each organization’s capacity and increase the number of good companies with good jobs across the United States,” Dyer concluded.

$4 Million to the Aspen Institute
The gift to the Aspen Institute will enable the Economic Opportunities Program to launch the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative as a way to incubate The Hitachi Foundation’s Good Companies @ Work program and resources. The Aspen Institute’s efforts will build upon the Foundation’s focus on healthcare and manufacturing, and expand to new sectors such as retail, hospitality, and other service industries. As a way to better align capital deployment to firms with good jobs outcomes, the Aspen Institute will oversee the continued development of a Good Companies, Good Jobs Data Reporting and Analytics Tool. Ultimately, the Tool will help to identify “good jobs” companies based on their higher employee retention rates, increased earnings, and career advancement for their workers with incomes under $40,000 per year.

“We are honored that The Hitachi Foundation selected the Aspen Institute for this gift given our mission to create a diverse community of leaders committed to building a better society,” said Elliot Gerson, executive vice president of policy and public programs at the Aspen Institute. “We feel confident that the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at Aspen will elevate the ways companies create good jobs and expand economic opportunities for workers, while building successful, profitable businesses.” Mark Popovich, vice president of the Foundation’s Good Companies @ Work program, will join the Aspen Institute as the director of the Initiative within the Economic Opportunities Program.

$4 Million to MIT Sloan School of Management
The gift to the MIT Sloan School of Management will support the Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER) and will serve as seed funding for a new Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT. The MIT program will identify, develop and advance management practices that are good for both business and society. The Initiative will engage in research concerning the impact, adoption, and diffusion of high road employment practices. It will be a hub for sharing knowledge and a center of practical learning for current and future business. Barbara Dyer, the Foundation’s president and CEO and a current senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School, will assume the role of executive director of the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT, which will be housed at IWER.

“The Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT is an exciting new platform for deepening and spreading our understanding of how companies can compete successfully, support good jobs, and respect worker rights,” said David Schmittlein, dean of MIT Sloan School of Management. “It is the perfect match of the values, aspirations, and work of our Institute for Work and Employment Research and The Hitachi Foundation.”

$3 Million to Investors’ Circle
The gift to Investors’ Circle (IC) will integrate The Hitachi Foundation’s Entrepreneurship @ Workintellectual assets into IC’s early-stage entrepreneur and impact investor programs. It will allow Investors’ Circle to expand its “Impact DNA” resources to help entrepreneurs access appropriate financial capital, develop strong human capital strategies, and connect to peers and other networks that can enhance their business success.

“We are honored to receive this gift and to continue The Hitachi Foundation’s important work to ensure that good job creation is an inherent element of early-stage impact entrepreneurship and investing,” said Bonny Moellenbrock, executive director of Investors’ Circle. “As we integrate this into our pioneering 25-year history of impact investing, we are pleased to prove that building good companies from the start make great companies built to last.”

Investors’ Circle’s Good Companies, Good Jobs efforts will also support the expansion of #FundedByIC, a program that cultivates a community of impact entrepreneurs that receive funding from IC members or from its early-stage venture fund, the Patient Capital Collaborative. Renata Hron Gomez, vice president of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship @ Work program, will join Investors’ Circle as their director of entrepreneur programs and will be based in California.

“Through these three final gifts, we feel confident that The Hitachi Foundation’s work to highlight the important role of business in our society will carry on,” said Patrick Gross, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors. “We anticipate that as the Good Companies, Good Jobs Strategy takes shape, collaboration opportunities will emerge between the three organizations. We also envision new partnerships with other aligned organizations that share our commitment to investing in the millions of lower-wage workers in our country.”

The Hitachi Foundation will close on December 31, 2016, as Hitachi, Ltd. has realigned its global corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to be more region-specific and aligned with Social Innovation. “We wish to congratulate The Hitachi Foundation for over 30 years of outstanding achievement in improving economic opportunities in the U.S. and enhancing long-term business activities that improve society as a whole,” said Hiroaki Nakanishi, executive chairman, Hitachi, Ltd. “Since endowing the Foundation in 1985, Hitachi has been committed to supporting U.S. citizens through activities that contribute to long-term social progress by addressing complex challenges.”

Source: Press Release (link opens in a new window)

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