Around the world, Magna people help improve communities through environmental actions, volunteer efforts and donations of their time and money. These are just three examples.
A Special Care Package from Formet Industries
When James Oteng returned to his village in Ghana, Africa, recently, he had a gift for his 17-year-old niece, courtesy of Magna. It was an inexpensive solar battery charger, something Oteng and others had received during an employee open house at Formet Industries in Canada.
“My niece Agnes was so happy she cried and said, ‘Uncle, you have no idea what this means,’” recalled Oteng, a team member in the hydroforming department. “She could study, even when there is no electricity and the lights go out.”
When he returned to Canada, Oteng told the story of her reaction to Derek VanHouwelingen, the assistant general manager at the plant. A short time later, Oteng was given a special care package: 35 more chargers for students in his hometown of Sekyedumase.
“Believe me, these will help in ways none of us can imagine,” said Oteng. “This shows the type of management we have here. It told me I’m not in this alone.”
The chargers will be distributed during Oteng’s next trip home in the fall, a yearly pilgrimage he makes with his 86-year-old mother Florence to aid villagers with money and supplies. The village of 1,500 relies on growing corn and cocoa, and the average person makes about $20 a month. Education is the only way out of poverty, Oteng said.
The father of two sons, Oteng is a 21-year Magna veteran who praises the company for its dedication to education. In his spare time, Oteng is studying quality assurance at a local college with the goal of joining Formet’s quality department. Magna is covering half of his tuition costs.
“When I came to Canada, I didn’t start life until I joined Magna,” Oteng said. “I owe everything to Magna.”
Part of Something Bigger
If I’m not really in a hurry, I walk or ride a shared bike and then take public transportation instead of taking a taxi.
In this way, I collect my green energy “points” to my Alipay account through the mobile app. And with a certain amount of points, I can redeem them to plant a tree online and an Alibaba organization will plant a real tree for you! Now I have three trees planted in different areas in western China.
I do feel rewarded when I see such small, environmentally friendly decisions turn to something that makes the Earth greener. And, as of August 2019, over 500 million Alipay app users planted 122 million trees in the arid areas in China.
Proud to be #partofsomethingbigger.
JASMINE SUN, senior specialist, communications and Asia events, Magna Powertrain
Engineers and Scientists
Getting fifth graders interested in careers in STEM-related fields comes naturally to Brian Pospy, Magna Rohinni Automotive’s business development manager.
He’s been a 10-year volunteer with the Society of Automotive Engineers’ A World in Motion program, which is designed to bring STEM education to life for students in grades K-8 with hands-on activities. Although the program was not held this year due to COVID 19, Pospy, an electrical engineer, usually works with students at Clarkston Elementary School in Michigan.
“It’s a way to give back and to catch these kids early,” Pospy said. “We teach them to work on a team project and make their own vehicle. I demonstrate lighting and micro LEDs. It always goes over really big.”
Sometimes he fields tough questions from the kids.
“One of the boys asked, ‘Do girls really want to be engineers?’” Pospy recalled. “I told them the story of Mary Barra. I said there was a girl who went to high school not far from here who now runs General Motors. I said absolutely girls want to do this. They are some of the best engineers we work with. I wanted to impress on the girls that the auto industry is successful because of the women who hold these positions.”
Brian Pospy, Magna Rohinni Automotive’s business development manager.