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December 5, 2008

50,000 Helped as Alcoa Employees Make a Difference in Challenging Economic Times During 2008 Alcoa Worldwide Month of Service

PITTSBURGH--On International Volunteer Day, Alcoa CEO and President Klaus Kleinfeld congratulated the record number of 22,000 Alcoa employees who came together in almost 700 separate service events as part of the company’s Worldwide Month of Service, to support communities around all Alcoa locations, making a positive difference in the lives of 50,000 others.

Each year, this month-long program mobilizes Alcoa’s global workforce to make a positive difference in the communities where they live and work – this year partnering over 1,700 not-for-profit community organizations across 26 countries, in projects as diverse as serving meals, to planting trees, to repairing community infrastructure, to improving child literacy. Details can be found at

Their efforts resulted in measurable improvement to our world – with over 20,000 trees planted, more than 7,300 meals served, 160 natural areas restored, and 270 community facilities and shelters repaired. Alcoa employees also worked to drive sustainable change in areas such as environmental conservation, carbon reduction and injury prevention – running community workshops to raise awareness of critical issues.

“I’m inspired to see that during these times of increased economic uncertainty, our employees, their families and friends, have responded with energy, passion and dedication to the immediate needs of our communities and have acted to make a difference,” said Kleinfeld.

“I believe what we can achieve together through this energy and dedication inspires others– both within the company and beyond it – to make a powerful and lasting difference.

“Alcoa has a proud culture of volunteering and we chose International Volunteer Day to announce these achievements as further recognition of the way our people bring positive change to their communities around the globe.”

In 1985, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated December 5 for an annual celebration of all that is achieved by volunteers; International Volunteer Day is celebrated in more than half the world’s countries. Details can be found at

2008 Month of Service Highlights

Throughout October, Alcoa employees reached out and made a difference. And so much was achieved…
  • 21,975 Alcoa volunteers (28% increase over 2007 participation rates)
  • working with over 1,700 community organizations
  • in 699 service events, across 26 countries.
  • 140 health and safety projects completed
  • 160 rivers, parks and recreation areas rehabilitated and restored
  • 270 community facilities and shelters restored
  • 280 workshops on recycling, environmental conservation and safety held;
  • 320 schools helped or improved
  • Over 7,300 meals served to those in need.
  • Over 20,000 trees planted
  • Over 24,000 children and 1,600 senior citizens assisted
  • 50,000 community members positively impacted

North America
  • 8,600 employees took part in 272 events, alongside over 500 community groups - more than doubled their participation numbers. They held recycling workshops, planted trees, worked with school children on literacy programs, held food drives, delivered meals to senior citizens, participated in blood drives and book fairs, built homes for the most vulnerable in communities, and repaired buildings and facilities to benefit those in need.
  • Almost 200 Canadian employees held over 20 events and gave over 800 hours to constructing and renovating community buildings over one weekend. In addition, volunteers gave their services to non-profit groups serving disabled children and vulnerable families, and held events to recognize Alcoa and volunteers.

South America and the Caribbean
  • In Brazil, 72 MOS events were held involving 4151 employees (representing an impressive 66% participation rate) and 300 community and non-profit groups. These events included an ‘Alcoa Panel and the Community’ review of community projects in San Luis, environmental activities, recycling and safety workshops, community events for children and classroom improvement projects.
  • In Jamaica, in addition to improvements to a senior citizens infirmary and several schools, 2400 trees were planted during October and events focused on education and natural resource management for school children.
  • In Suriname, 290 employees worked energetically on 37 projects, devoting 3,843 hours of their time and partnering with local community member, to assist 10 schools, brighten up an orphanage, clean and repair over 30 community facilities and playgrounds, plant over 350 trees, and improve safety at some road crossings.
  • In Mexico and Honduras, over 2700 employees, families and community members came together at all locations for volunteer recognition events, community health fairs, park improvements, workshops and programs for unemployed and vulnerable youth, and health workshops.

  • In China , over 400 employees, family and friends teamed up with environmental conservation groups and local authorities to improve wildlife and habitat protection, joined with the China Forum of Environmental Journalists at the Alcoa Environmental Protection Base to environmental workshops, and lent a hand to a hospital, schools and a senior citizens rest home.
  • In Korea and Singapore, volunteers worked hard preparing the grounds at a senior citizens home and shared a day of outdoor adventures with partners and friends from the Handicapped Welfare Association.

  • In Australia, 2245 employees participated in 73 events partnering 67 NGOs and community groups, reflecting a 37% participation rate. Their volunteer activities included planting over 7655 trees, painting at non-profit organizations, and holding environmental workshops to learn how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Across Europe, over 4,000 Alcoa volunteers repaired schools and hosting activities for orphanages, planted trees and gardens, cleaning rivers, lakes and sand dunes, and holding environmental education workshops. In Spain, a workshop for a neighborhood association will share our 5S’ System to help improve effectiveness.
  • Against a backdrop of severely challenging economic conditions, Alcoa Iceland employees and their families turned out in record numbers to repair local search and rescue facilities, and improve health and recreation facilities and hiking trails for the benefit of the local community. Notwithstanding the trying times and zero degree temperatures, they increased overall participation by 290% over last year’s Month of Service rates.
  • In Russia, over 210 employees and 340 participants upgraded the environs of centers for disabled children and the elderly, create a sports-ground for a local orphanage and host a field trip to Moscow for disadvantaged children, as well as developed the ecological path and Alcoa tree alley in a national park area in the Samara region.

  • In Boke, Guinea, all employees teamed up with the Jane Goodall Institute, School to School International and local authorities and 780 school children to foster local community capacity and share knowledge about sustainable natural resource management.


Alcoa Foundation is a separately constituted nonprofit U.S. corporate foundation with assets of approximately $500 million. Its mission is to actively invest in the quality of life in Alcoa communities worldwide. Throughout its history, the Foundation has been a source of positive community change and enhancement, with nearly $466 million invested since 1952.

The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in over 36 countries by partnering with Alcoa communities around the world to make a difference. Global and local grantmaking is responsive to the needs and aspirations of Alcoa communities and marshals the combined expertise, energies, and values of Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation to provide a world-class standard of excellence in corporate citizenship.

In 2007, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation invested a combined total of $49.0 million in community programs in 36 countries, focusing on four areas of excellence: conservation and sustainability, global education and workplace skills, business and community partnerships, and safe and healthy children and families. Alcoa Foundation manages the Alcoa employee volunteer programs ACTION and Bravo!

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