SAN JOSE, Calif.--It is a constant source of irritation and
embarrassment to some that the region consistently ranked among the top
25 wealthiest in the country has a fattening slice of its populace
that is struggling.
One of every 10 Santa Clara and San Mateo County residents relies on the Second
Harvest Food Bank for meals today. This is a region home to Intel,
Google, Apple, Oracle and Facebook, among countless other great technology
In addition, "There are gaps in education and there are gaps in
health," says Kevin Lyman, senior vice president of human resources at
Altera Corp., headquartered here.
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Unfortunately, these gaps aren't new, and it's prompting calls for
the wealthiest (the way less than 1 percent) to pony up,
many are, including Intel co-founder and big-time
philanthropist Gordon Moore.
Companies too, while not in the business of philanthropy, seem to
feel a quiet alarm that the next generation of employees isn't going
to be prepared.
Wednesday (Oct. 11), Altera's year-old
Altera Foundation will give out
its first grant as part of a larger--and, Lyman says more
strategic--effort to nurture the next generation of innovation. The
foundation is granting $500,000 to the nearby Hughes Elementary
School to seed a facility that will have whiteboard-type devices in
the classrooms and tablets in the hands of the 500 students in the
next three years. The grant also will help in teacher training with
the new media, and the Altera Foundation has a seat on the advisory
Lyman, who sits on the foundation's board, notes that the partnership envisions a "force multiplier" that will see such technology propagated throughout the Santa Clara County School District, which has 15,000 students and nearly 675 teachers.
Not all companies are great community partners.
"Many companies are highly committed to their communities and others
do less than they might," Lyman said.