From cleaning up rivers to refurbishing computers for underserved people to stocking food banks, managed services provider Techworks Consulting, based in Bohemia, N.Y., is all-in on giving back to the community.
After implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) a few years ago, which Techworks used to define its core values, “we felt that being a part of the community and being a part of charity was vital to our success,” recalls Thomas Lohr, vice president of operations. (EOS is a set of concepts and tools for entrepreneurs from the EOS Worldwide business coaching organization.) “We've been in business now 17 years. We wanted to make sure that we do our part by giving back, giving back to the communities that support us and people that thought to give us business.”
The company formalized that commitment with Techworks Gives Back, says Christopher Coluccio, CEO and co-founder of the 22-person company. “I felt it was very important for us to get out into the community and be a part of giving back, and I want to make sure that all of the people that we hired ... were aware that that's the type of company we want it to be and who I want it to be.”
Lohr says the company modeled Techworks Gives Back on a similar initiative by Varnex, the SYNNEX partner community to which Techworks belongs. “I thought that was a tremendous opportunity to kind of take what they had that was a success. We branded it for ourselves and do our version of it. Not nearly on the same scale that SYNNEX can produce, of course, but in our way that we could give back. So we look for opportunities to, as a company, donate our time, or have an impact in the community, or financially support organizations.”
Coluccio says Techworks tries to do one large charitable event per quarter along with some smaller events. Staff get two PTO days a year to devote to the charity of their choice, and if Techworks is sponsoring an event during the work day anyone who participates gets PTO as well, he says, such as when they closed the company and brought the team to pack food at a local food bank.
“We also look for opportunities within the chambers of commerces and other community organizations that we're involved in, to involve the whole team and to try to help with whatever those initiatives are,” Lohr says. “The Patchogue River Clean Up was a localized event that afforded us an opportunity to do a little bit of team building and help clean the environment. And specifically, this is something that I'm also trying to express and pass on to my family, and was very happy that my daughter was able to be a part of it as well.”
The company also puts forward its technical expertise to help those in need. For example, last year Techworks partnered with investment firm City National Rochdale to provide refurbished computers to its client, The Child Center of NY, to be donated to underserved families and children. City National and Techworks both provided computers and monitors and Techworks rebuilt and refurbished them.
“We have aspirations to try to even donate a computer lab at some point, but we had to start small,” Lohr says. “This is something that we want to do annually as possible.”
“We do that also with another local organization that delivers computers and laptops to elderly people that don't have the ability to purchase their own machines,” Coluccio says. “As we get machines in, we try to refurb those machines and deliver them back into the community because some of them are still good, they're just not good for business purposes anymore.”
Techworks also encourages employees to suggest charitable endeavors that are important to them. “What we try to do is express to the team if anyone's passionate about something, bring it to the table, let us know what matters to you,” Lohr says. “This is who we are, and this is the culture that we're trying to build.”
Lohr tells me, “I'm just proud of Techworks and who we are.”
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