Responsible corporate citizenship has been an important part of ITW for 100 years. It is a core company value with its own unique, rich history, initiated and nurtured by the Smith family founders. Harold B. Smith, Jr., ITW director emeritus and great-grandson of founder Byron L. Smith, recalls that his family understood from day one the strong connection between healthy communities and the long-term success of the company. That commitment is reflected in ITW's business ethics and the responsible way in which it treats employees and the environment. But it is also evident in the way ITW has established itself as a philanthropic leader, sharing its good fortune with organizations that work to advance society and the potential of every individual.
In its earliest days, long before "corporate citizenship" was a familiar concept in business and philanthropy, ITW supported employee well being and was involved with local Chicago-area charities. By 1954, though still a relatively young company, ITW formalized these philanthropic efforts by creating the Illinois Tool-Shakeproof Foundation, later named the ITW Foundation. It began primarily as a grant program that supported education for ITW employees' children; in 1969, the foundation established a one-to-one match for employee contributions, with most funds directed to colleges, universities and private secondary schools. The Foundation also began working with National Merit, awarding five scholarships in 1968. To date, over 569 scholarships have been awarded for a total of $2,130,726. In 1983, the Foundation began working with Scholarship America and, to date, a total of 1,284 scholarships have been awarded for a total of $6,308,600.
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