To that end, Mark Gabler, director of Maui operations for Boeing, has been tweaking the corporate buzz-concept of "community involvement" to include a broad swath of activities.
"I want to show what our values are by what we get involved with," says Gabler
support of the Special Olympics, island food banks, and the Boy Scouts as examples of how the company has increased its community involvement.
"The most important age group we can work with is K- 8," he
says."Research shows that if students don't have an early foundation in math and science, they seldom acquire any passion for either later on.We need to help teachers get kids interested early."Just as vital, he
adds, are programs that give teachers the background they need to explain cause and effect and applications to aerospace."Bare facts without context seldom inspire further interest," says Gabler
Boeing pumps $20 million directly into the local economy through salaries, services, and visitors; 78 percent of the company's employees here (97 out of 124) were hired from the local community."We prefer to hire local people, and try to reach as many as possible for all jobs that become available, " says Gabler
, "including the fundamental operators and a wide range of engineers."He
admits it is sometimes hard to find qualified local people for some jobs.To better the odds, Boeing
has begun hiring college-bound Maui high school students as interns, and Gabler
says the company is increasing its participation in outreach programs, including the Maui Economic Development Board, Inc.