News Apr 13, 2020

Bright Spots in Our Communities: 5 Uplifting Stories

In these unsettling times, here are five ways Jacobs is giving back to the places we live, work and play.

Heart on window

From volunteering to assemble to-go lunches for the less fortunate to donating LAN cables to keep students and teachers connected, we’re doing our part to bring our Culture of Caring into our communities during these unsettling times. Discover five ways Jacobs is giving back to the places we live, work and play:

  1. Helping a Community in Need: Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership Gives Back

As many local families in the industrial town of Paducah, Kentucky are grappling with lower or lost incomes because of the pandemic, employees of the Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, LLC (FRNP) focused on giving back.

“With so many industry workers out of jobs right now, the Community Kitchen needs our support more than ever to help feed these families, many of whom are in crisis,” said FRNP Program Manager Myrna Redfield. “I am proud to work with men and women who support our community through generous financial contributions and volunteerism. It is an inspiration to see them serving those who need our support most right now.”

FRNP, a Jacobs-led company with partners Fluor Corporation and BWX Technologies, Inc., is delivering the deactivation and remediation contract at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Paducah Site. Most Fridays, FRNP team members volunteer at the local Community Kitchen, providing access to filling meals to some of the community’s most-vulnerable population. With more community members needing a helping hand during this time, the FRNP team decided to work as many Fridays as possible in the near-term.

Given the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, rather than serving meals, the team is now bagging lunches so the Paducah community can come pick up and take them home to their families, while keeping a safe distance away from volunteers.

“I am so proud of the many ways our project teams are stepping up to support their local communities during this time,” said Jacobs Critical Mission Solutions SVP, North American Nuclear Karen Wiemelt. “Seeing the FRNP team members dedicating their time to community needs truly embodies the Jacobs Culture of Caring.”

  1. Re-Homing Chemical Suits to Aid Public Health in the California Bay Area

With public health professionals around the globe experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, one of our site teams in northern California found a way to give back.

On March 31st, Jacobs Site Operations Manager Jim Coniglio, and Mark Brock, Jacobs industrial tech, loaded up their pickup trucks with 100 boxes with approximately 350 Tychem chemical suits, and donated them to the Contra Costa County Department of Health Services.

Jim and Mark work at a client site in Pittsburg, California. Several years ago, the team purchased the suits for the project that we completed well ahead of schedule, creating a surplus of PPE.

“We would love to have this protection for our front-line staff,” shared County Health Department staff. “We really appreciate how you and other members of our community have reached out to support us!  Every donation helps encourage our staff during these difficult times.”

It’s in these times that we’re continuously reminded — and inspired — by our teammates like Jim and Mark.

  1. Team Tyndall Teams Up for a “Funraiser” and Positivity

In these times of being more digitally connected, our Tyndall Air Force Base Rebuild team has started a group text like no other with funny pictures, GIFs and words of positivity, which morphed into a photoshopped picture of senior project manager Thomas Marti donning a “Marti Manbun” when he joked he wasn’t going to cut his hair or shave during these quarantine times.

The photo was so well received within the group text, Thomas challenged his team each week to raise $500 for a cause dear to his heart – St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness, picked to celebrate his wife who is a survivor – then he’d bring “Marti Manbun” to life in pictures as part of this “FUN-raiser.”

Not only is the team now raising money for a great cause, their text messages and connection during this challenging time has brought them closer together, even as they’re separated.

  1. Keeping Our Clients’ Customers Informed When It Matters Most

While they might call sunny Phoenix their home base, the 34 Jacobs teammates who staff our Customer Support Center in Arizona are located throughout the U.S, answering phone calls and emails for 19 of our clients.

From cities and municipalities in Florida and Georgia to water, wastewater and sanitation projects in New Mexico, Florida and New Jersey, together, this team fields some 5,000 inquiries for our clients and their customers every week.

These days, the Customer Support Center team’s entirely remote environment is playing a critical role in helping our clients respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team quickly became a lifeline for many projects who don’t have call center functionality or systems enabled at their homes. Since our team is already set up remotely and working from their homes — wherever they may be —they’ve adopted a more central role in fielding all citizen calls and inquiries related to COVID-19, including office closures, government mandates and more.

“The Customer Support Center service is a real strength right now with your work-from-home, dispersed throughout the country workforce,” said Wayne Wright, Jacobs’ Operations Management and Facilities Services regional business manager. “Our clients are recognizing the value.”

As our clients transition from their primary offices to working at home, the Phoenix-based Customer Support Center team is ensuring their customers can stay informed and connected when it matters most.

  1. Up-Cycling LAN Cables: Connecting Teachers, Students in a Time of Need

With many cities around the globe under stay-at-home and/or physical distancing guidance in response to the pandemic, people are using the Internet more to stay connected to their jobs, their friends and family. As demands increase, local network infrastructure isn’t always able to keep up – resulting in bandwidth latency and connectivity issues.

In Austin, Texas — where Austinites are under a standing “Shelter-in-Place” order — teachers in the area were finding their home wireless bandwidth wasn’t strong enough to perform necessary distance learning duties. To fix the issues, folks can connect directly to their home router using a Local Area Network (LAN) cable, but with most local stores shut down and online stores reporting extensive delivery delays – there wasn’t a quick, simple solution available for these teachers in need.

But, thanks to our Austin-based Intelligent Data Solutions and Data Science group, help was just a storage room away. 

The team, who heard about the connectivity issues through a local middle school teacher, had about 60 LAN cables earmarked in storage for recycling. After hearing about the teacher’s troubles, the team knew the cables could go to a much better use to keep teachers and kids connected and learning throughout the crisis.

After receiving approval to donate the cables, the team has given out 10 LAN cables so far to local teachers, with 50 more in reserve. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with some teachers even fighting back tears of joy and reaching out to their coworkers to share the offer.

Part of our Cybersecurity team, the Intelligent Data Solutions and Data Science group provides IT and analytical solutions in support of national security. And now, they’re giving back to their local community in an unprecedented time of need, bringing our Jacobs Culture of Caring to students and teachers throughout Austin.