Aerospace and defense company Raytheon Technologies announced today the launch of Connect Up, a new 10-year, $500 million corporate responsibility initiative aimed at driving transformative, generational impact on critical societal challenges, including advancing equitable opportunities in STEM education, career development and community wellbeing.

The company stated that the new initiative will support underserved communities through a combination of philanthropic capital, public/private partnership and employee volunteerism. Raytheon announced that it has launched an enterprise-wide employee volunteer initiative to provide opportunities for employees to connect with and give back to their communities, challenging its 180,000 global employees to take on 1 million acts of service in 2021.

According to the company, focus areas under the new initiative include advancing lifelong learning, through enabling access to STEM education to underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, by partnering with groups like National Academy Foundation, SMASH and Girls Who Code; helping military personnel and their families advance education goals and supporting post-service transition to the civilian workforce with key partners including Student Veterans of America, American Corporate Partners and The Mission Continues, and; driving local community impact with organizations such as Feeding America and Boys & Girls Clubs of America that address social welfare to create a more equitable future.

Greg Hayes, Raytheon Technologies’ Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The measure of business success must include community growth. The Connect Up program leverages our global reach, the expertise and passion of more than 180,000 employees, a heritage of era-defining engineering and technology ingenuity, with a track record of solving some of society’s biggest challenges. Through focused investments, volunteer commitment and strategic partnerships, we will create lasting, multi-generational impact in education opportunity, armed services support and local community relief.”