When Eclaro established its global delivery operations in Metro Manila in the Philippines in 2009, the company owners saw how talented and hardworking the people were, but also the extreme poverty they lived in.
One future employee came to an interview only because he was hungry and the company was providing free food for applicants.
Four years later, Eclaro co-founders and twin brothers, Tom and Paul Sheridan, had an opportunity to do something to better the lives of not only their employees but the young people in the community.
A local college near their office was closing and they were asked to help provide scholarships for the remaining 15 students to finish their college education. Instead of helping just a handful, they purchased the entire non-profit school and have since helped educate thousands.
Now known as the Eclaro Academy, the accredited, technology-oriented academic institution has four campuses and over 2,600 students. It serves students from kindergarten through 12th grade as well as offering college degrees in six majors and programs for the hearing impaired.
The Academy helps to provide the education needed for youth from the Philippines to get jobs at Eclaro or other companies. In the past three years, the New York City-based business and technology consulting firm has hired 175 impact workers and designed programs to hire even more of these valuable employees in the future years.
Strong believers in the value of education to raise families’ socioeconomic standing, the Sheridans are making a difference through their impact sourcing strategy. For their achievements, the company was honored by IAOP and the Rockefeller Foundation with the Global Impact Sourcing Award for a provider organization at OWS21. To hear their acceptance remarks, click here.
“Eclaro is honored to be recognized by IAOP for this extremely important Global Impact Sourcing Award,” the company principals said. “We feel that an education is a huge step in gaining meaningful employment, and we are grateful that Eclaro has the opportunity to help disadvantaged kids, and hire impact workers while conducting our business. The biggest challenge is making others aware of impact sourcing and we are hopeful this award will help us to do so.”
Studies have shown that education can help raise people out of poverty. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, one in every 10 Filipinos (or 3.8 million children and youth) aged 6 to 24 years do not attend school, largely because they can’t afford the high cost of education.
Eclaro offers subsidies to employees and their families to attend the Eclaro Academy, provides continuing education programs to Eclaro employees, and works with the school to hire Eclaro Academy graduates as employees.
Eclaro also offers its clients the opportunity to sponsor students in hopes they will also provide these trained scholars with jobs. Through its Impact Scholars program, over $3.5 million has been provided in scholarships and 1,200 people have graduated with the right education and skills needed to gain employment.
“As a mid-size player, we can only hire so many people,” Paul Sheridan said. “But if we can give them an education, they can get hired by other companies and have a lifetime opportunity to grow.”
Eclaro’s clients also have gotten involved with offering internship and mentoring experiences, visiting the school and presenting to the students.
Speaking about the company’s positive experiences at IAOP’s Impact Sourcing (IS20) conference, the two shared many stories of the meaningful difference their practices are having on individuals, their families and their communities.
“The gratitude is just amazing and humbling,” Tom Sheridan said. “It impacts our lives as well. It feels good to do good.”