Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Walmart Foundation gives $100,000 to Graduate Retention

Above: From left, Chamber President and CEO Mike Landram, Walmart Market Manager John Wolf, and Graduate Retention Program Manager Jen Fisher at the Chamber’s Tower Bank Meet Me at 5. Walmart presented the Graduate Retention Program with a check for $100,000 at the event.

Through the State Giving Program, the Walmart Foundation awarded $100,000 to the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce for its Graduate Retention Program at a ceremony during the Chamber’s Annual Holiday appreciation party. The grant will help The Chamber's program through internship opportunities and education.

"We’re grateful for Walmart’s support of the Graduate Retention Program," said Mike Landram, President and CEO of The Chamber. "The grant will allow us to continue to grow the Graduate Retention Program through the development of internship opportunities for college and high school students. Retaining a talented workforce in Northeast Indiana is essential, and Walmart has provided significant support for our efforts."

The Graduate Retention Program is an initiative of the Workforce and Business Development Division of The Chamber. The mission of the GRP is to attract and retain northeast Indiana high school and college graduates in high-wage, high-skill jobs and to develop a highly qualified workforce.

"Walmart is pleased to support community programs like the Graduate Retention Program," said John Wolf, market manager for Walmart in northeast Indiana. "This is Walmart’s way of continuing to serve the community and our commitment to help programs like this provide education, awareness and opportunities."

The contribution to Greater Fort Wayne Graduate Retention Program was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Indiana State Giving Program (SGP). Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

Last year, the Indiana State Giving Program awarded more than $635,000 to local organizations such as FBI National CHiPs program, ADEC, Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Keep Terre Haute Beautiful, Indianapolis Urban League, Purdue University and Salvation Army. In Indiana, a team of local associates determine needs within each state, review eligible grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Walmart Foundation.

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Eligible applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum funding criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online.

In the U.S., Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $467 million in cash and in-kind gifts in fiscal year ending 2010 -- an $89 million increase over the previous year’s giving. At a time when food banks are being accessed more than ever, Walmart doubled donations to Feeding America, giving more than 127 million pounds of nutritious food to U.S. food banks, the equivalent of nearly 100 million meals.

For a state-by-state breakdown of giving, or more information about the Walmart Foundation, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

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