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The Hitachi Foundation

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The Hitachi Foundation was an independent, nonprofit philanthropic organization founded in 1985 with an endowment from Hitachi, Ltd. Its stated mission is to "discover, demonstrate and expand business practices that both measurably improve economic opportunities for low-wealth individuals in the U.S. and enhance long-term business value."[1] The Hitachi Foundation capitalizes "The" in its name as its official title. The Hitachi Foundation does not issue Requests for Proposals. Proposals may only be submitted at the Foundation's invitation.[2]

The Foundation concentrated its efforts and funds into two programs, with numerous projects operating under each one: Good Companies @ Work and Entrepreneurship @ Work. As of 2014, the Hitachi Community Action Program was transferred from the Foundation to Hitachi's Corporate Social Responsibility office.[3]

On November 28, 2016, The Hitachi Foundation announced the launch of the Good Companies Good Jobs, Strategy and announced that it will officially close at the end of December, 2016. According to the press release, the Foundation made three final gifts totaling $11 million. The unrestricted monetary gifts and their recipients are $4 million to the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC; $4 million to the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and $3 million to Investors' Circle in Durham, North Carolina.

The Hitachi Foundation ceased operations in December 2016.[citation needed]

Good Companies @ Work Program[edit]

The Good Companies at Work Program, formerly the Business and Work Program, was to operate as a catalyst for firms to create and sustain quality jobs by drawing attention to innovative business approaches, highlighting the business practices of firms that have "outperformed their peers while providing quality jobs and pathways to the middle-class for workers."[4] With this program, the Foundation invests in new solutions for businesses and nonprofit organizations to address social challenges, such as building career paths for low-income individuals and training incumbent workers. Partners include the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Precision Metalforming Association, The Brookings Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, and the UCSF Center for Health Professions.

The Hitachi Foundation's Pioneer Employer Initiative identified close to 100 employers committed to the upward economic mobility of their employees – and have added business value to their companies as a result. Most of these firms are concentrated in the industries of healthcare and manufacturing, two large and influential sectors that employ significant numbers of lower-wage people, and have added jobs since the recession." Retrieved September 16, 2014, from The Hitachi Foundation Web site: [8]

The Hitachi Foundation also joined with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to launch Jobs to Careers: Promoting Work Based Learning for Quality Care. The $14 million initiative supports partnerships between employers and educational institutions to promote the workforce development for frontline healthcare workers.[5]

Another major portion of The Hitachi Foundation's Business and Communities Grants Program is its focus on Corporate Citizenship (also see: Corporate social responsibility).[6][7]

Entrepreneurship @ Work Program[edit]

The Hitachi Foundation's 2014 Strategic Plan created the Entrepreneurship @ Work program, which works with early-stage ventures as they grow and secure capital. This program formerly operated the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Program that ceased in 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from The Hitachi Foundation Website: The centerpiece of Entrepreneurship @ Work for 2014 was a new initiative, SOURCE: Solutions from Our Country's Entrepreneurs. SOURCE cultivates the U.S. entrepreneurial economy by helping promising companies become investor-ready.[9] The Entrepreneurship @ Work Program formerly operated the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Program.

Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Program[edit]

From 2010 to 2013, the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program identified and supported inspiring young entrepreneurs whose work helped to alleviate domestic poverty. This competitive program was open to entrepreneurs who operated viable businesses in the United States with the dual purpose of making a difference and making a living. Entrepreneurs must have launched their business before they reached age 30 and their business must have been between one and five years old. This program is no longer in existence.

Award Recipients:

2013 Emily Doubilet and Jessica Holsey, Susty Party Kaben Smallwood, Shelby Smallwood, and Keith Scott, Symbiotic Aquaponic LLC Ted Gonder, Moneythink Kyle Murdock, Sea Hag Seafood Vineet Singal, Anjna Patient Education [8]

2012 Vanessa Bartram, WorkSquare Shane Gring and Stephen Lepke, BOULD Cody Hopkins, Falling Sky Farm John Piercy, Neighbor Capital [9]

2011 Andy Posner, Capital Good Fund Lacy Asbill and Elana Metz, Moving Forward Education Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, Runa Garrett Neiman, SEE College Prep Blaine Mickens, Young Picasso Painting [10]

2010 Alex Velez and Nikhil Arora, BTTR Ventures Andrew Butcher, GTECH Jessamyn Rodriguez, Hot Bread Kitchen Rohan Mathew and Joseph Shure, The Intersect Fund Caleb Zigas and Leticia Landa, La Cocina, Inc. Jason Aramburu, re:char [11]

The Hitachi Community Action Partnership[edit]

In 1987, The Hitachi Foundation and Hitachi companies established the Hitachi Community Action Partnership (HCAP) community engagement program. Through this program, teams of Hitachi corporate employees, known as Community Action Committees, identify priority issues facing their communities and make grants and organize volunteer efforts. As of 2014, the Hitachi Community Action Program was transferred from the Foundation to Hitachi's Corporate Social Responsibility office.

The Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community[edit]

The Yoshiyama Award[12] was initiated in 1988 when Mr. Hirokichi Yoshiyama, former president and Chairman of Hitachi, Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan, donated funds upon his retirement to the program. Each year up to 10 high school seniors are hand-picked from hundreds of nominees to receive this award based on the significance and breadth of their service to the community. A diverse panel of leaders from various professions selects the award recipients. Students selected for the Yoshiyama Award are expected to have made sustainable change in their community. The Foundation is especially interested in students whose community-service efforts help underserved individuals move closer to the economic mainstream. Award recipients receive a $5,000 gift, which the student may use however he or she chooses. The Yoshiyama Award is not a scholarship program.[13]

2000 awardees:[14]

  • Amber Coffman
  • Emily Douglas
  • Marc Freed-Finnegan
  • Jennifer Kean
  • Lauren Lubowicki
  • Mariah Martin
  • Jameka Pankey
  • Pamela Rogers
  • Dhwanit Shah
  • Ashley Amber Wallin
  • Irving Zamora

2006 awardees:

  • Melvin Colbert
  • Kurtis Fluck
  • Ashley Gunn
  • Robert Ingram
  • Antonio Jennings
  • Michaelle Larracuente
  • Franvalerstar (Star) Martin
  • Benjamin Pomerance
  • Joanna Poz-Molesky

Other affiliations and events[edit]

The Hitachi Foundation is a member of the Hands On Network Corporate Service Council Advisory Board;[15] a network of 52 nationally and internationally known corporations and nonprofit organizations – including UPS and 3m – that bring people together to try and solve community problems through service. In September 2005, The Hitachi Foundation and Hitachi America, Ltd. joined together to give a $1,000,000 donation to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts.[16] The Hitachi Foundation sponsors the Elliot L. Richardson Prize for Excellence in Public Service, a program of the Council for Excellence in Government The Hitachi Foundation sponsors the State of Corporate Citizenship Survey, administered by the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.


  1. (2012-2014). About The Foundation. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from The Hitachi Foundation Web site: [1]
  2. http://www.hitachifoundation.org/our-work/good-companies-at-work/initiatives/18-guidelines-for-grantseekers
  3. http://www.hitachifoundation.org/our-work/hitachi-community-action-partnership
  4. [2]
  5. Bergen, Jane M. (2006, October 23). Foundations offer grant to mental health workers. Philadelphia Inquirer, p. C03.
  6. (2001-2006). Business and communities grants program: Initiatives – Global corporate citizenship. Retrieved February 13, 2007, from The Hitachi Foundation Web site: [3].
  7. Armstrong, M. (2005, April 19). The new bottom line. Guardian Unlimited, Retrieved February 13, 2007, from [4].
  8. http://www.hitachifoundation.org/our-work/entrepreneurship-at-work-program/meet-our-entrepreneurs/class-of-2013
  9. http://www.hitachifoundation.org/our-work/entrepreneurship-at-work-program/meet-our-entrepreneurs/class-of-2012
  10. http://www.hitachifoundation.org/our-work/entrepreneurship-at-work-program/meet-our-entrepreneurs/class-of-2011
  11. http://www.hitachifoundation.org/our-work/entrepreneurship-at-work-program/meet-our-entrepreneurs/class-of-2010
  12. (2001-2006). Yoshiyama Awards. Retrieved February 13, 2007, from The Hitachi Foundation Web site: [5]
  13. Ghezzi, P. (2006, August 31). N. Atlanta grad gets major service award. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. 7JE.
  14. "2000 Yoshiyama Award For Exemplary Service To The Community Recipients". www.hitachifoundation.org.
  15. HANDS ON NETWORK CORPORATE SERVICE COUNCIL. Retrieved February 13, 2007, from Hands On Network Web site: [6]
  16. (2005, October 4). Companies and Foundations Pledge $467-million in Hurricane Relief. Retrieved February 13, 2007, from The Chronicle of Philanthropy Web site: [7]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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