By Loralee Stevens Special to the Business Journal
SANTA ROSA – Agilent Technologies’ commitment to education has been amply demonstrated in the North Bay, where students from elementary school through college graduation benefit from a series of programs and partnerships.
“Our Santa Rosa manufacturing team contributes significantly to Agilent’s success by making the world’s most technically advanced and reliable test and measurement equipment,” said Guy Séné, president of Agilent’s Santa Rosa-headquartered Electronic Measurement Group.
“Many of these same employees are also making a positive impact in our communities by volunteering in Agilent programs and projects supporting education.”
For the fifth year last month Agilent hosted the Mike Hauser Algebra Academy, named after the late leader of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the chamber and the Sonoma County Office of Education.
Two groups of 30 students each who are learning the English language spent a week at the Santa Rosa Site improving their algebra skills so that that they can stay on-track to graduate from high school.
For the past 11 years in the company’s hands-on science program Agilent After School, approximately 160 Santa Rosa employee volunteers have worked with 2,500 students – including youngsters at two different community partner organizations in 2012.
One team of Agilent volunteers was joined this year by three seniors at Cardinal Newman High School, who helped implement the program at Kid Street Learning Center in Santa Rosa as part of their community service graduation requirement.
In addition, Agilent employees involved in the local Girl Scouts organization coordinated a science session using AAS kits at an annual summer camp, and three other Agilent employees launched a new partnership at Riebli Elementary School in Santa Rosa.
A nine-year-old program is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day for more than 125 middle- and high-school aged girls from Sonoma County and throughout Northern California.
Coordinated by a women’s leadership development employee network group at Agilent to reach girls with positive messages about math and science education and engineering careers, this year’s event, attended by girls from organizations such as Girl Scouts and Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County and daughters of Agilent employees, featured a hands-on “Build a Bridge” engineering project.
College-level students benefit from Agilent’s engineering scholarships and equipment donations. Earlier this year the company donated $15,000 in company test and measurement equipment to Sonoma State University’s undergraduate engineering degree program, supplementing previous equipment donations totaling more than $1 million.
Agilent also provided a scholarship to a top SSU engineering student as well as an Agilent mentor for the student, adjunct instructors to help develop engineering curriculum and teach courses, and guest speakers for the engineering department’s engineering lecture series.
The company this year launched a new scholarship program for SSU and Santa Rosa Junior College engineering students through an education initiative in the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce’s BEST (Building Economic Success Together) program to create jobs in Sonoma County. Agilent will contribute $50,000 in scholarships over five years, provide mentors for all scholarship recipients, and identify internship opportunities for the students at the company’s Santa Rosa facility.
Agilent volunteers also hosted 12 Santa Rosa Junior College engineering students at the Santa Rosa Site in December as part of the 11th annual Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA)/SRJC Engineering Job Shadow Day.
And at the earliest level, this year a group of more than 20 Agilent volunteers “adopted” James Monroe Elementary School in Santa Rosa as part of the United Way of the Wine Country’s “Schools of Hope” program aimed at improving literacy rates among Sonoma County’s growing English-language learning population. The Agilent volunteers work with students once a week throughout the school year, helping them increase reading skills with a goal of achieving grade level proficiency.
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