Intel Skills-Based Volunteering

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Chip-manufacturer Intel offers free mentoring to non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies in strategic planning, lean principles, risk management, human resources structuring and other business management principles. The Gilbert Fire Department and Northern Arizona University’s extended campuses are among the agencies that have taken advantage of Intel’s free services. Rudy Hacker of Intel, the founder of the program, will discuss the free mentoring.

Ted Simons: Intel has developed a skills-based volunteering program that offers free mentoring to nonprofits, schools, and government agencies in a variety of business management principles. Rudy Hacker is the founder of the program, he joins us now to talk about Intel's mentoring and planning services. Good to have you here.

Rudy Hacker: Thank you.

Ted Simons: What is skills-based volunteering?

Rudy Hacker: It is the difference between traditional volunteering, where you might go out and paint a house or plant a tree, all very good things. We're trying to bring to the table a high level of volunteering, where you get advantages of people with skills in perhaps information technology, marketing, all the things we have at the company are available as resources for non-profits to leverage?

Ted Simons: These are Intel employees basically volunteering in their fields of expertise?

Rudy Hacker: Absolutely
Ted Simons: The program is called mentoring and planning services. How did you come up with this?

Rudy Hacker: In part, you want something that's going to stick. We talk about Intel maps, helping people to see the future, where they are going to go. We don't do the work for the individuals. We try and transfer skills to the organization. We're helping them develop a map and create a future for themselves.

Ted Simons: This is Intel now, but you're focusing on business management principles. First of all, what are those principles? Some would say Intel should be concentrating more on computer chips or a high tech endeavor.

Rudy Hacker: No, Intel has a long history of being involved in the community. The corporate affairs have set up a terrific program where Intel employees can go out during work hours and all of the work time we provide Intel pays 10$ an hour. It's a terrific program, we're very proud of it, it's energizing for our employees, too.

Ted Simons: Give us an example now. Free mentoring to nonprofits and schools and agencies and so forth. Gilbert fires one of the agencies?

Rudy Hacker: That's one of our premiere projects. We had done a previous project for Gilbert town council and helped them with creating a vision for 20 years from now. In addition to that they said, we have problems with a backlog of paperwork, could you help us streamline our environment. Pat went in, took some rides on a fire truck and the result is, he ended up building a system that's now being deployed out on their trucks.

Ted Simons: So basically, it's updating patient's reports and transfers.

Rudy Hacker: No, it's a lot more than that. They are getting immediate services in the field so Gilbert residents are getting better treatment. You're writing as an EMT, walking into the yard with the blood pressure, now they have it right there. It's a ruggedized device and the follow-up work happens much faster.

Ted Simons: You also work with the school out there. That had to do with rebranding, correct?

Rudy Hacker: The Institute of Technology is a tremendous facility, there are 6,000 students out there. Their problem statement was people don't understand who we are. Can you help us with our marketing? We brought in some of our marketing folks, looked at how they were positioning the messages. Essentially they cut their budget and increased yield and the number of people coming to events by about 75 percent by shifting from traditional money based, paper-based, to social media.

Ted Simons: Now with Gilbert, I believe you worked with NAU, as well.

Rudy Hacker: We did a great project with NAU, they talked about curriculum development, it's taking too long. We taught them some techniques and they were able to employ them very successfully.

Ted Simons: So far, are those short-term or long-term mentoring deals?

Rudy Hacker: You get to know the people and you tend to develop the relationship. But we are not giving away these resources. Our focus is not to put a fish on the table, but to teach them to fish. We have a cycle and they come in, make an application, and we target these projects to be anywhere from two months to about seven months. The actual investment runs from 10 to to 15 to 30 hours per employee. It really depends on the project and how many employees are on it.

Ted Simons: That's part of the criteria, in selecting the organization you decide to work with?

Rudy Hacker: Yeah, there are a couple of criteria. They need to be a nonprofit; we're not going to help a for-profit. They need to have a compelling problem statement. We need to believe they are willing to transfer those skills to their organization. It's a big component, as well as safety.

Ted Simons: Doesn't sound like it, it sounds like you've got employees ready to go. I'm coming to you with my nonprofit, and you've got to find an employee to match my particular challenge.

Rudy Hacker: No, we have a vetting process. We have the DOT tool, the Development Opportunity Tool. You could give me an application and say, I'd like to improve something in the operation here. We would post that out or go to somebody we know who has that ability and say, hey, we know you're experienced in this, would you like to work on this project?

Ted Simons: And basically take from it there?

Rudy Hacker: And take from it there.

Ted Simons: When you came up with this idea was it based on previous models? Were other companies and organizations out there doing a similar kind of thing?

Rudy Hacker: No. It was based on a combination of factors. On our 40th anniversary Paul Utley challenged us to go out into the community, and backed it up by putting out 10$ an hour to every hour spent in the community. We had been asked to teach local communities to run their operations better. We also had personal experiences that weren't as positive. We felt we could have a bigger impact on the community. Essentially that combination of those events and those ideas were put together as a proposal and our corporate quality staff said, "Sounds like a great thing, and go try it out."

Ted Simons: And you've tried it out and the response from people you've worked with?

Rudy Hacker: Tremendous. We've been doing this for five years. We've worked with the Tempe police, Scottsdale schools, Rio Salado. Essentially it's like a think tank for free. You get access to tremendous employees.

Ted Simons: Where do you go from here?

Rudy Hacker: Actually we've expanded. It was started in Arizona, but we've expanded out to Santa Clara, Guadalupe, Costa Rica, and Oregon. We're trying to get involved in our local communities wherever they are.

Ted Simons: Thank you so much for joining us.

Rudy Hacker: Appreciate it.

Rudy Hacker:Founder of Mentoring Program, Intel;

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