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United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / Airbus & United Way Announce Funding for Local Education Programs

Airbus & United Way Announce Funding for Local Education Programs

Airbus Americas Engineering and United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) announced a series of grants worth more than $7,500 in the third year of their education partnership. This partnership was created in 2014 to invest in community programs and services that improve education.

“Airbus places a high value on quality education,” shared David Trent, Site Director at Airbus Americas Engineering in Mobile. “Our investment will go to programs that will help students attending, or who will attend, schools in the area around Airbus’ location in Mobile. These programs will address student needs from pre-school to high school and beyond.”

The programs that have been identified to receive funds are:

  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for preschoolers in the Dauphin Island Parkway area
  • Gilliard Elementary School’s Take Flight Through Reading, an accelerated reader program
  • C. Rain High School’s participation in Jubilee BEST Robotics program

Airbus and United Way seek to change the story for the students around Airbus’ location in Mobile by increasing access to reading opportunities and STEM related programming. Studies have shown that reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical predictor of high school success – or failure. In Mobile County, approximately 40% of fourth-grade students are proficient in reading, which means that 60% cannot demonstrate solid academic performance and competency in relation to challenging subject matter in reading.

“Being a good corporate partner and a good corporate citizen is important to us,” said Barry Eccleston, President of Airbus Americas. “We are excited to team up with United Way across the country to address the educational goals in the communities where we have a physical footprint. Our investment, coupled with the funds that the Airbus Corporate Foundation has invested throughout the world, will help thousands of students excel in school.”

“This partnership only builds on the support that Airbus gives the southwest Alabama area,” stated President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Alabama, Clifford Grimes. “Airbus employees already lend their time as Reading Buddies or Airbus Flying Challenge mentors, participate in workplace giving campaigns, and are involved in several volunteer projects throughout the year. We are very thankful to have the opportunity to continue working with Airbus to support programs and services to help our community reach education goals in school readiness, reading and math scores, and, most importantly, increasing the graduation rate in Mobile County schools.”

dscn0779 Pictured: Gilliard Principal Faith Lucy (far left) with student participants of the accelerated reading program at Gilliard Elementary and representatives from Airbus Americas Engineering and United Way of Southwest Alabama


Pictured (L to R): Airbus Americas Engineering employee Jacob Ellis, UWSWA Director of Community Impact Laurie Childers, Airbus Americas Engineering employee Tyrone Benjamin, and B.C. Rain High School Principal Marlon Firle


About Airbus Americas

Airbus Americas locations in Herndon, VA; Atlanta, GA; Miami, FL; Wichita, KS; and Mobile, AL have partnered with The United Way of the National Capital Area, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, United Way of Miami-Dade, United Way of the Planes, and the United Way of Southwest Alabama, respectively. With a team of more than 55,000 people around the world, Airbus manufactures the most modern and eco-efficient family of airliners available, ranging from 100 to over 500 seats. Airbus has assembly facilities in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; Tianjin, China; and Mobile, Alabama. Airbus has spent more than $170 billion in the U.S. since 1990—$15.9 billion in 2014 alone—with hundreds of American suppliers in more than 40 states. For more information about Airbus, please visit


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