Helping Tornado Victims Rebuild

Cummins employees Brian Vogel and Jacob Rudge work on the Cummins house in Henryville as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Building Blitz Oct. 8-12.

Cummins employees, led by workers at the Columbus Engine Plant (CEP), are making a huge difference in the lives of some southern Indiana tornado victims.

More than 250 employees from Columbus, Walesboro and Seymour in southern Indiana are providing a big share of the muscle behind Habitat for Humanity’s campaign to build 10 homes for families in Henryville, Ind. by the end of December.

The community, tucked along Interstate 65 about 20 miles north of Louisville, Ky., was hard hit by tornados that devastated parts of the state last March.

“This project would not have been possible without wonderful, compassionate corporate giving,” said Gina Leckron, executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Indiana. She cited support from Cummins and Lowe’s home improvement stores as well as the Indiana Conference of United Methodist Churches and the Ogle Foundation based in Clark County, Ind.

“We couldn’t do this work without their donations, but even more importantly without their volunteers,” Leckron added. “And Cummins is a leader on this build in bringing multiple volunteers to help us get the project complete.”

Habitat sponsored a building blitz Oct. 8-12, recruiting more than 1,000 volunteers over the course of the week to get the exteriors of the homes complete. The Columbus Engine Plant bused down 35 to 40 workers each day of the blitz. As the week went on, other Cummins businesses joined the effort including the Hedgehog group based in Seymour, and the Columbus Mid Range Engine Plant in Walesboro.

By the last day of the blitz, the number of Cummins employees working in Henryville swelled to nearly 100. That was far too many for the house sponsored by Cummins, so employees were dispatched to several building sites in the neighborhood.

“The outpouring was incredible,” said Ben Slaton, the Community Involvement Team (CIT) co-leader at the Columbus Engine Plant along with Rob Smith.

“It’s amazing how quickly this all came together,” added Slaton, a Program Coordinator in Cummins Turbo Technologies. “So many people worked so hard to make this happen.”

“The energy from people coming back from Henryville was amazing,” added Margo Rout, Human Resources Manager for the Engine Business’ Viking Project at CEP and the “master scheduler” for the project. “People were saying, ‘I want to go back.’”

By the end of the blitz, the exteriors of the 10 new homes in the Twin Oaks subdivision were complete with the exception of some brick work that will be done by professional contractors.

Contractors will also finish a lot of the interior work. The CEP Community Involvement Team, however, plans to continue sending workers until the houses are finished. By mid-December, families are expected to move into the 10 new homes in Henryville. The project is expected to cost nearly $1 million.

Habitat is a faith-based organization dedicated to increasing the amount of decent, affordable housing around the world. The group depends on volunteer labor from corporations, churches and other groups. In addition, the families who will own the houses provide “sweat equity,” working side-by-side with the volunteers as their homes are built.

The house sponsored by Cummins with a $50,000 grant from The Cummins Foundation will be owned by Kris and Steven Sullivan, who have a 12-year-old son and a newborn baby boy. Their older son was ill on March 2 and would normally have stayed home by himself, his mother says.

However, rather than have him stay home and play video games all day, she insisted he go to his grandma’s house. Later that day, the tornado destroyed most of the house they were renting and nearly all of their possessions.

“It was a blessing by God that he wasn’t there home alone,” Kris Sullivan said.

That wasn’t the only blessing since the tornado. She feels blessed by the birth of her son two months ago and by the Cummins employees who are working so hard to make her family’s dream of a home of their own come true.

“These people don’t even know me,” she said as the house was built. “I keep telling them, ‘you don’t even know me.’ It’s just incredible.”

For their part, Cummins employees say they got a lot more out of the blitz than they invested in physical labor.

“This has been a fantastic experience,” said Scott Grant, the Customer Care Leader for Viking at CEP who was in Henryville Oct. 12 for a second day of work that week. “I got the chance to work with the family that will own the house. I met so many people I didn’t know. I liked it so much, I came back.”

“I feel very proud to be a part of Cummins,” said Soumee Roy, an Aftertreatment Integration Engineer in the Engine Business. “Though my contribution was only a drop in the ocean, we as a team can not only rebuild houses but also help rebuild dreams.”

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

Speaking up, speaking out

Cummins - Mission Vision Values

A message from Tom Linebarger, Cummins Chairman and CEO, to all Cummins employees, customers and members of the communities in which we operate. 

Tom Linebarger - Cummins Chairman and CEOI write this message today with a very heavy heart. Like many of you, I have been horrified and angered by recent events, including the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The anger and frustration spilling into the streets reflect longstanding problems that must be addressed.  In the US, black people are discriminated against in systemic ways, often marginalized, and have increasing reason to fear for their lives.

It pains me that we have such deep-rooted racial and structural inequality in our country. And it pains me that we have been talking about this for far too long, and yet the intolerance and violence continues. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man of peace, noted that a riot "is the language of the unheard." 

No one should feel afraid to go for a neighborhood run or to walk through a park.  Of course, no place is entirely safe and there are bad actors in every society.  But we know that it is not the same kind of danger for all of our citizens. We live in one country, yet our experiences are very different based on how we experience law enforcement – as protectors or as threats. For those of us who have the privilege to not worry that our son might be killed today because somebody thinks they just "look guilty," it is too easy to stand by and watch, wondering if people are overreacting.  I keep thinking about how different my world would feel if my children were under threat. 

We each have a role to play in calling for greater accountability from our government, from law enforcement, our neighbors and ourselves.

As a community, and particularly those of us who have the privilege of not living with the fear and constant threats to our well-being, we need to leverage our influence and power to speak up and speak out. We can no longer be silent or sit on the sidelines. We each have a role to play in calling for greater accountability from our government, from law enforcement, our neighbors and ourselves. We need to raise the bar and hold ourselves to a higher standard. What we have today is simply not good enough. We need to work together to root out hate and replace it with a deep and abiding appreciation for diversity, equality, and inclusion. It starts with us. And we cannot wait.

I know that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways that we connect and express caring for one another. It is not as easy to talk to each other as it used to be. But we can still connect with others, and it has never been more important to do so.  I am asking you to be proactive and to check in with your colleagues and friends, your team members, and others who you think might be impacted in some way by the current events. Don’t wait for the next scheduled call – do it today. Ask them how they are doing. Be fully present and listen empathetically and engage with genuine care. 

Our leadership team is closely monitoring the situation in Minneapolis and around the country. Site leaders will reach out to employees who work at a facility that is or might be directly affected to discuss safety and security measures. 

I am grateful to work for a company that cares about our people and that works to include all members of our community in our success.  

Thank you for all that you do.

Stay safe,

Tom Linebarger
Chairman and CEO
Cummins Inc. 

Tom Linebarger Chairman and CEO

Tom Linebarger

Tom Linebarger became Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., the largest independent maker of diesel engines and related products in the world, on January 1, 2012.  Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO, he served as President and COO from 2008 to 2011, Executive Vice President and President, Power Generation Business from 2003 to 2008, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2000 to 2003, and Vice President, Supply Chain Management from 1998 to 2000.

Cummins employee joins the frontlines of the fight in the U.K. against COVID-19

Cummins employee Stephen Layton checks the medical gases at the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.
Cummins employee Stephen Layton checks the medical gases at the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.

Stephen Layton is a Cummins employee in the U.K. and a husband and father to three children. With COVID-19 cases rising, it would have been easy to become insular. But when he thought he could help, Layton didn’t hesitate.  

Prior to joining Cummins as a telecommunications manager, Layton worked in the medical gas testing industry, ensuring that oxygen and other essential gases needed in hospital intensive care units were up to standards.

When the pandemic escalated in the U.K., Layton was sought after by contacts from his medical gas testing days to help as a volunteer testing the medical gases at some locations including the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.

The Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.
The Nightingale hospitals like the one at ExCeL London provided valuable capacity to the British health care system at the peak of the virus outbreak and will remain open in case the virus spikes again.

The exhibition and convention center was initially converted into a 500-bed hospital with ventilators and oxygen to help with the crisis but was later expanded to a 2,000-bed facility.

“I thought about the thousands of people who would need these medical gases to survive and couldn’t say no to playing my part,” said Layton, who has also volunteered at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, another convention center converted into a Nightingale Hospital about two hours northwest of London. 

He has completed more than 100 volunteer hours at these hospitals and is scheduled for more. Layton and the team he’s working with have now tested gases on more than 3,000 bed-stations at different Nightingale hospitals. Each bed has an oxygen supply to deliver directly to patients and another oxygen and medical air supply to run ventilators.

Through it all, for Layton and the team, safety has been the number one priority. 

“We adhere to the highest safety and hygiene procedures at all times,” he said. “We drive in separate cars to the hospitals, even though most of us live close to each other and could carpool; we keep our masks on; we wash our hands frequently and we maintain good distance while working.” 

Layton is one of many people around the world putting themselves on the line to help in the response to COVID-19. His volunteer service and dedication embodies the Cummins values of caring and integrity.


 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Doing our part: Increasing digital inclusion through technology

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020
GAAD is an annual observance dedicated to encouraging the world to talk, think and learn about digital access, inclusion and people with different disabilities. 

This year marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), an annual observance dedicated to encouraging the world to talk, think and learn about digital access, inclusion and people with different disabilities. 

At Cummins, we have a deep-rooted commitment to empowering our employees to reach their full potential by working to ensure a truly diverse, accessible, equitable and inclusive environment. For Dennis Heathfield, Executive Director of Inclusion – People with Disabilities and Veterans at Cummins, the opportunity to join GAAD and help the organization amplify its mission is a no brainer.

“Our goal is to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities and having accessible technology is a first step in that,” Heathfield said. “We are proud to recognize Global Accessibility Awareness Day and partner with our employees to ensure they have technology to meet their needs.” 

Making technology accessible

As a company with more than 60,000 employees around the world, efforts to create an inclusive work environment extend to the technology Cummins employees use to perform their jobs, including websites, software, computers and mobile devices. 

The company’s aim is to enable employees to fully and independently understand, navigate and interact with technology functions and features easily and effectively. 

“We believe that technology is for everyone,” Heathfield added. “As a company with a rich history of diverse and inclusive policies, we continuously look for ways to make the tools our employees use every day more accessible for users of all abilities.” 

From speech recognition software to captioned telephones (CapTel), the following portfolio of solutions – available to Cummins employees around the world – highlights the company’s continuous efforts to ensure that employees get the most from their technology. 

  1. Speech Recognition Software - The enterprise-ready speech recognition solution converts speech to text empowering employees to create high-quality documentation faster and more efficiently.
  2. Text Prediction Software – AI-powered text predictions help employees avoid typing the same text over and over again in applications they use every day.
  3. Magnifier/Reader Software – A magnifier/reader is a fully integrated magnification and reading program tailored for low-vision users. Magnifiers/readers enlarge and enhance everything on an employee’s computer screen, echoing their typing and essential program activity, and automatically reading documents, web pages and email.
  4. Captioned Telephones - Designed exclusively for individuals with hearing loss, captioned phones (CapTel) work just like any other phone, but users can listen and read word-for-word captions of everything said over the phone.

Ways you can help

Ready to take action? Learn more about GAAD and obtain guidance on how to improve digital accessibility in your workplace by visiting Global Accessibility Awareness Day online, and read about Cummins’ long history of diversity and inclusion

You can also help spread the word about GAAD on social media by joining the conversation and tagging your posts with #GAAD and #InclusionAtCummins

Lauren O'Dell Sidler - Cummins Inc.

Lauren O'Dell Sidler

As a senior communications specialist with Cummins Inc., Lauren O’Dell Sidler works with Cummins leaders to develop and implement communications strategies that reach Cummins’ global audience. 

Employee uses analytical skills to help hospital plan for COVID-19

Cummins employee Stephen Aryee's model will help health care officials in his community.
Cummins employee Stephen Aryee's model will help health care officials in his community.

Having grown up in western Africa, Stephen Aryee is no stranger to health epidemics and the devastating impact they can have on communities.

When he read a news article in early March about COVID-19 cases in the U.S. where he lives now, Aryee was curious to understand how the virus could impact his local community. He thought he might be able to help others gain insights because of his work at Cummins in strategy and market intelligence.

“I felt a sense of urgency when I saw the data,” said Aryee, a Market Insights Segment Leader in the Strategy group. “I felt compelled to find a way to help.” 

MINING THE DATA

Using data he found on Johns Hopkins University’s website, he began building a model focused on Bartholomew County, Indiana, where he currently lives and works and where Cummins has its headquarters. In under a week, the model was complete, producing four key outputs:

•    Actual infections compared to confirmed cases, showing community leaders how the virus may be spreading but hasn’t been captured by confirmed tests.  
•    Potential hospitalizations based on real cases instead of confirmed cases. 
•    Time for a surge to reach hospitals, helping health officials with capacity planning, so they have enough resources to respond. 
•    Expected peak of infection if social distancing guidelines are implemented. 
 
“I knew that if we were behind the curve when the surge hit our community, it would result in a lot of lost lives,” Aryee said. “We’ve got to have a handle on this. I thought if I could make the right models, it would help leaders make informed decisions.” 

PERFECT TIMING

He presented his work to a Cummins business leader, who immediately connected him to Jim Schacht, Executive Director of Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility, and also a member of a Columbus, Indiana, based coronavirus task force. Schacht quickly shared Aryee’s work with leaders at the city’s hospital, Columbus Regional Health (CRH). 

Aryee’s work couldn’t have come at a better time. The executive team at CRH was already working with an analytics group to apply state-level data but needed help localizing it to the 11-county region the hospital serves. He shared his work with CRH leaders to help with modeling data as they define action plans.

“His current role at Cummins requires using lots of data to create a forecast,” said Jahon Hobbeheydar, Executive Director of Corporate Strategy. “I’m proud of him for applying his unique skills to benefit his community in this critical time of need.” 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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