Luke Hardaway’s roots run deep here. His grandfather served in Greenville Technical College’s personnel department since its earliest days in the 1960s. Hardaway is now senior manager of human resources at Fluor Corp., where his father worked for 38 years.
Fluor’s global philanthropic arm, the Fluor Foundation, has assisted the Greenville Tech Foundation in many ways throughout the years, including a $25,000 gift last fall and varied other donations through the years.
Since 2013, Fluor Foundation grants have supported, among other scholarships across multiple disciplines, more than 100 veterans in Greenville Tech’s Quick Jobs for Veterans program.
“You can see, from start to finish, how it impacts them and how your participation contributed to their success,” Hardaway says of donations that have come back in the form of some scholarship recipients who ultimately land jobs at Fluor.
Greenville Tech president Dr. Keith Miller says Fluor has contributed significantly to Upstate workforce development for decades.
“Fluor’s longtime commitment allows us to fulfill our mission of changing lives through education, benefiting the many students who are now succeeding in their careers and the countless companies who employ them,” he says.
Hardway calls that give-and-take a “circle of giving.”
Included in the circle is Nora Whitesel, whose husband, a Marine Corps major, flies F-35 fighter jets from Air Station Beaufort in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
With four children aged “almost 2” to 11, Whitesel wanted to return to nursing, especially after having moved five times during the first five years of their now-12-year marriage. She discovered that Greenville Tech offers a Nursing Refresher and Re-licensure course, and Beaufort Memorial Hospital happens to be a clinical site for Greenville Tech.
She received a Quick Jobs scholarship, which offset the bulk of roughly $3,000 in tuition and expenses, including books, software and travel to and from Greenville and accommodations for her coursework here.
“The scholarship helped me attain my goals and to be able to do something for our family without added financial stress to get there,” she says.
Whitesel’s story and others like it make Greenville Tech Foundation’s annual fundraiser a two-hanky experience, according to several previous attendees, including Hardaway.
“You can draw a direct connection between what we do and what the recipients’ benefit is,” he says of the event that also features several scholarship winners. “So it can be very emotionally intense, that transformation almost in front of your very own eyes.”
As a military spouse, Whitesel qualifies for Greenville Tech’s Quick Jobs for Veterans program — and during a phone interview from Beaufort, she has a bit of trouble finding a word stronger than “grateful.”
“I do want people to know what it’s going towards and how it’s affected us,” she says of the financial aid that will soon put her back to work and on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s affected me as an individual, it’s given me the opportunity to have an identity of myself again, apart from being a mom, but also just for our family.”
Fluor Corp.’s history with Greenville Tech and Greenville Tech Foundation
- So far this year, the Fluor Foundation has contributed $17,500.
- Fluor Corp. and Fluor Foundation have supported Greenville Technical College and Greenville Tech Foundation since 1993.
- Greenville Tech recognized Fluor Corp. with the 2018 Unsung Hero Corporate Award.
- Greenville Tech Foundation recognized Fluor last year during National Philanthropy Day at a lunch with the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
- Fluor employees serve as adjunct instructors and advisory committee members and have held positions on Greenville Tech Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Source: Greenville Tech Foundation
Fluor-ishing with in-kind gifts
Fluor Corp. and the Fluor Foundation contribute more than simply generous financial contributions, says Greenville Tech Foundation development officer Jacyln Cobosco, who highlights a forum featuring Ambassador Andrew Young.
Young, a civil-rights activist who was a close confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., served as United Nations ambassador under then-President Jimmy Carter and was Atlanta mayor from 1982 to 1990.
The multinational engineering and construction firm and its foundation sponsored “A Conversation with Andrew Young” on Fluor’s Greenville campus on behalf of Greenville Tech during Black History Month in 2019.
Source: Greenville Technical College