Regional Review > Europe > 

People and Communities

Investing in Our Communities

Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested $1.5 billion to build stronger communities worldwide, advancing Ford’s vision of making people’s lives better by empowering social mobility. Through the Ford Fund, we invest in innovative programs across the globe, focused in three areas: Community Life, Education, and Safe, Smart Mobility. In Europe, our key programs are as follows:

  • Ford Blue Oval Scholars – The Ford Blue Oval scholarship program is just one of many global initiatives for young people that aims to encourage an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We support scholarships at RWTH Aachen University and the University of Cologne.

  • Formula Student – Ford Fund provides donations to several Formula Student teams, including three teams in Germany. The teams are challenged to build a single-seat race car to compete in dynamic and static tests as part of an established European educational motorsport competition.

  • Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) – Ford C3 is a global challenge grant competition that empowers college students to design and implement innovative community-building projects around the theme of Building Sustainable Communities. The 2017 Ford C3 winners in Germany are the University of Cologne, RWTH Aachen University and the Technical University of Munich.

  • Supporting local community projects – We support local communities through projects ranging from cardiovascular disease screenings in Romania and youth employment initiatives in Spain to cultural integration projects in Germany.

  • Ford Driving Skills for Life – Our global advanced drivers’ safety training program for newly licensed young drivers helps to develop skills in four areas: hazard recognition, speed and space awareness, vehicle handling and driver distraction.

  • Volunteering in the community – Ford Volunteer Corps is an extension of Ford’s history as a family company. Ford volunteers bring skill, enthusiasm and teamwork to nonprofits, helping to get essential jobs done while the organizations can focus on serving people in need.

  • Education workshops – Ford Fund supports the Children’s University in Cologne that is focused on providing fun and engaging workshops for kids aged 8–15. These include math, information technology, natural sciences and technology (MINT) topics ranging from “sound and light” to “future technology” explaining scientific research and relevance for everyday life.

  Read a case study about Ford’s Refugee Integration Program, a cornerstone of our community engagement in Germany

Work&Ing Training Program

Ford is investing in the talent pipeline and future leaders, especially in the context of an aging workforce and a shortfall of engineers across the region.

The Work&Ing program was first implemented in 2012 and is now being rolled out to all Ford sites in Germany and Belgium. This award-winning training – which covers skillsets including engineering, legal and various other specialisms – is designed to support talented employees to study an engineering subject after finishing an apprenticeship.

The needs of shift workers are catered for by offering day shifts to help participants with their study time. Participants have a mentor and there is a regular exchange between the candidates, plant management and HR.

The program is open to five employees per year, who are chosen after assessment. One of the company’s People Development Committees (PDC) is closely involved in the selection. Members of the PDC also mentor the chosen candidates during the program, monitoring progress regularly with a view to matching candidates with employment vacancies on completion.

While there is no guarantee of securing an engineering position after finishing the training, in agreement with the works council, Work&Ing candidates are considered first for vacant positions.