Maintaining Citizenship

Medtronic Spine employees put being good corporate citizens to practice

By Jennifer Johnson Backer

For the fifth straight year, Memphis-based Medtronic Spine employees are spending the month of June volunteering at more than a dozen locations in the area.

Memphis-based Medtronic Spine employees are spending the month of June volunteering at more than a dozen locations in the area as part of the company’s effort, dubbed Project Six.

(Medtronic Inc.)

The effort, dubbed Project Six, helps kick off Medtronic Spine’s volunteer efforts throughout the year and also practices the sixth tenet of the company’s mission to maintain good corporate citizenship, said Victor Rocha, a spokesman for the company. The company-wide, global project helps unite Medtronic employees through volunteerism.

“People really enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community,” Rocha said. “After all, we live and work here, too.

“It is a great team-building effort, and they really enjoy that and get to know each other on a different level.”

Medtronic Spine employees involved in Project Six are helping meeting community needs that range from volunteering at events like the Arthritis Walk and WRC Cycle the Greenway, to assisting at the Memphis Veteran’s Administration Hospital, to mulching at SRVS, and spending time with Alzheimer’s patients at Dorothy’s Place and students at the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, and at Youth Villages.

Local employees already have filled the 30 Project Six volunteer shifts throughout the area, and the company is adding several more to fulfill extra demand, Rocha said.

Last year, about 860 Medtronic Spine employees contributed 2,900 volunteer hours through Project 6, and other volunteer efforts throughout the year, according to figures provided by Medtronic Spine.

Medtronic Spine employees volunteer at Friday Fun Day at Shelby Farms on June 7. 

(Medtronic Inc.)

“Those are extra hours that nonprofit employees don’t have to stack food or do their everyday duties,” Rocha said. “These are nonprofits and I’m sure they have limited budgets.”

Memphis-based Medtronic Spine is the second-largest division at Minneapolis-based Medtronic, employing about 1,300 Memphis employees and 5,600 worldwide. The spinal division makes products and technologies that treat orthopedic and spinal conditions.

According to Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs, the estimated value of volunteer time in 2012 is $22.14 per hour.

About 64.3 million Americans, or 26.8 percent of the adult population, gave 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $171 billion in 2011, data from the Corporation for National and Community Service show.