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 Home > News & Policies > June 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 13, 2002

Businesses Strengthening America
Corporate Leaders Plan for Answering the President's Call to Service

Today's Action

Today a group of 18 corporate leaders representing a variety of industries announced at a meeting with President George W. Bush that they have come together to create Businesses Strengthening America -- a self-directed, long-term effort to engage hundreds of America's business leaders in helping corporations, employees and consumers answer the call to service President Bush made during his State of the Union Address.

Businesses Strengthening America is based on the premise that a strong commitment to volunteering and civic responsibility serves corporate interests as well as community, national, and global needs by increasing employee productivity and employee, consumer, and shareholder loyalty.

When asked about community involvement, American workers cite their work schedule as among the barriers they face to getting involved, according to a Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey conducted by Robert Putnam of Harvard University in July and August 2000. Corporate-led efforts to enable and encourage Americans to get involved in volunteer service will help to break down those barriers and to foster a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility in America's communities.

Basic Principles and Accountability for Results

The group of 18 corporate leaders who met with President Bush today at the White House outlined their plans to determine how corporations can lead a campaign to strengthen America by encouraging increased service and citizenship, including a commitment to:

  • Create institutional changes in how corporate support for service and participation is encouraged, rewarded and measured.

  • Create a set of principles that can guide how companies of any size, in any industry, can develop their own policies and programs to foster service and citizenship.

  • Recruit hundreds of corporate leaders for a fall Business Leadership Conference on Service, and develop results-oriented programs and policies that adhere to the principles.