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Outstanding Corporation Award

Lear Corporation

Lear Corporation LogoLear Corporation will be presented with the OUTSTANDING CORPORATION AWARD.

Lear Corporation is recognized nationally and internationally not only for its leading role as a global innovator in automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, but also for its longstanding culture of philanthropy. Employing roughly 1,200 people at its Southfield global headquarters, Lear’s dedication to greater Detroit is evident by their incredibly generous employee donations, executives’ service on nonprofit boards, corporate investments in the city of Detroit, and a lengthy list of charity sponsorships that rivals any other company 

Lear is leading by example and proving to other corporations why philanthropy is good for both the community and business, and their philanthropic reach extends to a wide range of charitable support in the areas of health and wellness, education, the environment, and arts and culture.

At Lear, employees don’t just grow in their careers, they grow in their philanthropy. Setting the bar high, Lear has achieved 100% participation in their annual United Way campaign for the last four years, a feat virtually unheard of in employee giving at any corporation. Since 2011, Lear’s 1,200 headquarter employees have donated over $5.5 million to United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) and the organizations UWSEM supports. 

Lear executives serve on the boards of 28 local organizations, and continually making generous donations to nonprofits. United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society (AdT)—donors who give at least $10,000 each year—has over 80 Lear members, more than the next two highest companies combined. Many Lear executives donate well over $20,000 each year, supporting the work of numerous nonprofits such as ACCESS, Focus: HOPE, Gleaners, Winning Futures and countless others.

Committed to college and career readiness, Lear has donated millions to Detroit Public Schools’ tutoring programs, and is participating in Mayor’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent. Over 200 Detroit area youth have graduated from Lear’s own Automotive Youth Academy, a 6-week program that provides students with the skills necessary to enter the auto industry. Lear has donated nearly $3 million to Focus: HOPE to fund educational and workforce development programs.

Lear is a major donor to Wayne State University, engaging as a true partner with the Mike Ilitch School of Business and the College of Engineering. Lear most recently pledged $2.5 million to support construction of the new Mike Ilitch School of Business. In recognition of their generosity, Wayne State is pleased to name the auditorium in the building, the Lear Auditorium. Lear also has supported Wayne State scholarships, student leadership programs, and pipeline programs to prepare and encourage pre-college students to enter the STEM fields.

A fierce advocate for developing excellence in innovation, art and design education, Lear has been an anchor donor for the College for Creative Studies for almost 30 years. They continue to sponsor corporate research design projects and community outreach initiatives, and have served as long-standing members of the College’s Board of Trustees. Their partnership has helped to support the growth of the College, strengthened the caliber of its art and design programs, and enabled countless students the possibility of enrollment and careers in art and design. Further demonstrating their commitment to the arts, Lear donated nearly $3 million to the DIA to support educational programming and the Grand Bargain.

Lear’s philanthropic leadership reach extends to charitable and service organizations in communities locally and globally, as far away as Germany, China, Brazil and South Africa, but it’s their unwavering commitment to supporting causes close to home in Southeastern Michigan and Detroit that serves as an inspiring example of authentic corporate philanthropy.