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United Way Blog

Millennials and Workplace Volunteering

Summer internships are a great way for young people to gain professional exposure and experience. Thanks to United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and supportive companies, summer interns also have had the chance to volunteer during the annual “Intern Day of Action”.

Inspired by United Way’s National Day of Action on June 21, Intern Day of Action began seven years ago as a one-day volunteer experience for two companies and 50 interns. This year, United Way organized more than 27 companies and 750 local interns to complete over 30 volunteer projects across a four county region -- the largest Intern Day of Action ever. The event has grown into a strategic and meaningful way to engage companies in the spirit of civic engagement and good corporate citizenship and provides an opportunity for college student interns and seasonal staff to participate in volunteer projects that make an immediate, visible impact within the greater Milwaukee community. This terrific video features photos and interviews of interns hard at work and having fun during this year’s Intern Day of Action.

Having a sense of purpose is vital to many Millennials like these young adults. The Intern Day of Action is a great way for employers to tap in to the passions of their future workforce, as 77 percent of Millennial employees prefer to volunteer with groups of fellow employees, according to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report. The 2015 report also provides valuable insights about “the preferences of Millennials and managers when it comes to volunteering, donating and participating in cause work through their company.” The report could be helpful to companies like Rockwell Automation, the sponsor of Intern Day of Action, that understand the importance of leveraging their millennial employees’ passions to build a strong and loyal workforce.

Eileen Walter, director of Global Community Relations and Contributions at the company, said, “Rockwell Automation believes that volunteers transform communities. We are proud to partner with United Way on this annual effort to engage young professionals and future leaders in making a visible difference in Greater Milwaukee. Not only are we building a better workforce but also a stronger community.”  

Building a better workforce and a stronger community makes good business sense. United Ways around the world are proud to help connect local corporations and volunteers to meaningful ways they can do well by doing good, on Day of Action and throughout the year.