Regional Review > North America > 

People and Communities

Our People Driving Innovation

In 2016, Ford employees submitted the most patent applications in the company’s history – in both the United States and globally. Worldwide, there was a 40 percent increase over 2015, and a 90 percent jump over 2014 – reflecting Ford’s innovation mind-set and our focus on advancing emerging new technologies.

Meet Victoria Schein, a 23–year–old Ford research engineer with more patents than many industry veterans.

At Ford, intelligence isn’t artificial – it’s human. One recent innovation by Ford employees is On-the-Go H20, developed by engineers Doug Martin and John Rollinger. This provides an ingenious way to collect vehicle condensation, which is then filtered and pumped into a faucet inside the car to provide drinking water.

Hear from Doug Martin about the ideas behind On-the-Go H20.

Ford Volunteer Corps

Every September across the company, some 20,000 Ford volunteers participate in hundreds of community service projects around the world. This is Ford Global Caring Month, the signature annual event of the Ford Volunteer Corps. Each year, the aim is to create a powerful and positive impact on people and communities through the efforts of Ford employees and our nonprofit partners.

In the United States in 2016, Ford volunteers participated in more than 160 activities across 16 states throughout the month. In Mexico, volunteers took part in a whole host of projects, from making improvements at an orphanage to building water storage and providing food for those in hunger. In Canada, employees raised funds for charitable organizations, including national cancer and diabetes campaigns, and a local mental health facility.

Empowering Students to Help Their Communities

Ford Motor Company and Ford Fund invest more than $18 million each year in forward-thinking education programs around the globe that empower people to develop creative solutions to improve the quality of life in their communities. This investment also helps develop the future pipeline of skilled technical talent that is essential to Ford and the automotive industry.

Ford STEM High School Community Challenge

Students explored real-life issues and ways to address unmet needs in technology, alternative energy, health and other areas.

The Ford STEM High School Community Challenge encourages students to use their science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) knowledge to design sustainable solutions that will have a lasting impact.

A number of winning projects have been selected by a panel of Ford reviewers with first place awarded $20,000, second place winners awarded $10,000 each and third place receiving grants of $5,000 each to implement their solutions.

The inventive ideas include converting vehicles to run on renewable hydrogen fuel, developing solar-powered charging stations, hosting hackathons for underserved youth, programming drones to battle high populations of mosquitoes, transforming a school bus into a mobile learning lab and creating a Community IT Engagement Center to share with members of the community.

Ford Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Challenge

Now in its fourth year, the Ford Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Challenge encourages students to design innovative projects that address critical sustainability needs.

In the U.S. edition of the program, four chemical engineering students from Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, won top honors with a software app that enables homeowners to monitor water and energy use in real time. The innovative app, which helps homeowners adjust their utility use and save money, earned the students $75,000 in scholarships, grants and implementation funds.

Dealers Going Further in Our Communities

Ford dealers give more than $100 million to causes in 2016. Pictured (left to right) Paul Brown and Edsel B. Ford.

In the U.S., Ford and Lincoln dealers gave more than $100 million and 800,000 hours to local causes and nonprofits in 2016.

In Mexico, Ford and its dealers recently celebrated 50 years of supporting social causes. Over this period, the education program has seen more than 200 primary public schools built and donated, and 80,000 children attending a Ford School every day.

Dealers’ caring efforts and contributions to children’s charities, environmental protection, hunger relief, education initiatives and other good causes are recognized each year in the Ford Salute to Dealers Awards. In Canada, Vaughn A. Wyant, Jubilee Ford Sales Ltd., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was one of six dealers from across the globe who were saluted for their deep-rooted commitment to improving the lives of others. For example, through the efforts of Wyant and his team, US$450,000 has been raised for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.