According to Investopedia, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is “a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable—to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.”

In essence, it’s the system by which a company uses its resources to improve society at large. Some companies use CSR to sponsor people around the world, while others focus on the needs of the local community. In other cases, groups of people are on the receiving end of a company’s social enterprise. In this regard, how can CSR promote STEM, particularly in young learners and professionals?

Partnering With Schools and Foundations

Partnerships can be a powerful method of creating community value. Take, for instance, the case of Washington-based SaaS company Concur. Since 2015, Concur has used the power of its CSR team to prioritize STEM education for schools in its area. In particular, Concur has focused on partnering with underprivileged and underfunded schools to offer an extra boost, bringing the joy of STEM to students without the school having to drain its proverbial wallet. This example demonstrates the importance of funding for STEM initiatives. Recall that STEM is all about the overlap of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Schools typically do teach these different topics, but with varying degrees of real-world applications and hands-on projects. Business partnerships can fund these initiatives to provide a more well-rounded education and give back to the community that has helped organizations grow.

Giving Directly To Youth

If you’ve read our blog post on the Blue Heart Fund, you’re well-aware of alliantgroup’s scholarship outreach program. Such programs are popular with companies across the country, as they serve as an opportunity to provide young academics with a direct method of pursuing their dreams. Some of these programs are specifically for diverse and underrepresented groups, such as the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program. alliantgroup’s program has provided for students who are not only attending hard-and-fast engineering and science programs, but also those whose unique areas of study require strong backgrounds in such fields. One such field is fashion design, which requires textile engineering and other STEM courses.

Offering In-House Opportunities

More and more, students are turning to internships, job shadowing, and extracurricular studies to stand out above the collegiate competition. Local companies can offer tremendous opportunities for these students, rewarding ambition with opportunities to grow. As FIRST president Don Bossi wrote for Triple Pundit, “These initiatives should focus on more than philanthropy—they should be about changing the status quo and doubling down on mentorship while supporting hands-on learning.” This mentorship is particularly helpful for students who aren’t quite sure where they want to go in life. Offering a look at careers in certain areas will help them immensely, whether they pursue that field or not. Use your funding and power to give back to the community, and help build up a strong workforce for the future.