Best Community Improvement Program Finalists

DTE Energy

DTE Energy’s commitment to providing meaningful employment experience for youth in Michigan continued through the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, DTE began plans to convert a hands-on internship to a completely virtual summer internship experience. 

The Summer Youth Internship Program goes beyond a traditional internship to not only expose youth to DTE careers, but to also provide mentoring, training, and wrap-around services to help ensure the success of each intern. The program is designed to provide a transformational experience for interns that have barriers to employment, with a focus on Detroit. Additionally, to assist the small business community in developing their own virtual internship programs, DTE’s Workforce Development team compiled their work into a toolkit that companies can use.

Liberty Mutual Insurance


Liberty Mutual Promise House
© Liberty Mutual Insurance

Youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness is a hidden epidemic, impacting one in 10 young adults and one in 30 adolescent minors annually. It is a multifaceted challenge – and with a belief that progress happens when people feel secure – Liberty Mutual invests its financial strength and employee expertise in helping homelessness become rare, brief, and non-recurring.  

To address the challenges youth experiencing homelessness face, Liberty Mutual partners with key stakeholders, commissions original research, works with community leaders, and listens to youth with lived experiences. Alongside these efforts, the company’s financial and volunteer support has helped 674 young people exit to stable housing and 152 young people find transitional housing between 2018 and 2020. Since 2018, Liberty Mutual has committed $13.9 million to YYA homelessness efforts in Boston.

VF Corporation

VF’s goal is to improve the lives of 2 million workers by 2030. To do this, VF is going beyond its factory walls to provide access to healthcare, clean water, education, and childcare for workers in its global supply chain through its Worker and Community Development (WCD) Program.  

As part of the WCD program, VF developed an Access to Water and Sanitation Initiative in Bangladesh and Cambodia to address the challenges facing workers who had limited access to clean water. VF partnered with WaterAID and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) to develop programs which involved training workers and community WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) champions in hygiene awareness, improving access to toilets and soap, and developing a system for operating and maintaining the water and sanitation facilities in worker communities.