Gentex launches charitable foundation

Gentex Corporation plans to expand its giving with the creation of the Gentex Foundation. One of the projects of the charitable giving nonprofit is the launch of a a new scholarship for female high school seniors pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).

The Zeeland-based technology company is a leading supplier of digital vision, connectivity, sensing, and dimmable glass technologies for the global automotive, aerospace, and fire protection industries. 

The Gentex Foundation will provide grants to organizations in the United States to support charitable causes in a wide variety of areas, including economic development, children’s services, public health, housing assistance, and diversity initiatives, to name a few. 

It will be managed by a board of directors that will review grant applications with focused attention on nonprofit organizations operating in the communities where Gentex employees live and work, and which reflect the foundation’s values of integrity, compassion, innovation, and diversity.

In addition to the foundation, Gentex has established the Amanda Clark Scholarship program to recognize female high school seniors in West Michigan who are pursuing a STEM degree at a four-year college or university. Recipients are eligible to receive a $5,000 scholarship that can be renewed up to three years. The scholarship was created in memory of Gentex employee Amanda Clark, who earned a manufacturing engineering degree from Kettering University and worked at Gentex for 8 years, using her technical skills in a variety of roles.

Supporting communities

“For nearly five decades, as one of the area’s leading employers, we’ve sought to make a positive impact on West Michigan,” says Gentex President and CEO Steve Downing. “As we continue to grow, serve new markets, and engage in new communities, the Gentex Foundation will allow us to enhance our charitable giving program to better support the needs of the communities in which we operate.”

Gentex is Ottawa County’s largest employer, with over 5,300 employees. In July, the company announced a $300 million expansion in the city of Zeeland and Zeeland Charter Township, which will create 500 new jobs there. The company also recently announced the expansion of its Spanish-speaking employment program, which removes barriers to employment and career growth for employees not proficient in English.

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