Laura Mueller, Chief Human Resources Officer at Convergint
Convergint is a $1.8 billion global systems integrator that designs, installs, and services electronic security, cybersecurity, fire and life safety, building automation, and audio-visual systems. On June 10, 2022, the company closed its offices around the world for its 21st annual Social Responsibility Day, allowing more than 7,700 colleagues across 175 locations around the world to give back to their local communities. This year’s efforts prioritized school safety and resulted in an estimated donation of more than $2.5 million in labor and equipment to more than 110 organizations from Convergint and its partners.
ExecEdge sat down with Laura Mueller, Chief Human Resources Officer at Convergint, to discuss the company’s STEP Up for School initiative, its culture of giving back, and the Values and Beliefs that empower and inspire colleagues around the world.
What is Convergint’s STEP Up for Schools initiative, and why did you launch the program?
Our STEP Up for Schools initiative was launched in 2018 to help strengthen school security in underserved districts. We have worked with schools, both K-12 and higher education, since the company was founded. This program stemmed from a deep concern around school safety from our colleagues and communities and the recognition that Convergint has the time, expertise, and resources to help make a real difference.
Through the STEP Up initiative, we provide schools with interior and exterior security system installations, upgrades, and assessments – including cybersecurity, fire alarm services, physical security, and emergency communication – at no cost. All equipment and resources are donated by Convergint and our partners.
How does Convergint decide which schools to work with and how many have you helped to date?
To date, more than 70 schools have received security upgrades from Convergint through the STEP Up program. Schools that are interested in a no-cost security donation can apply through our website. Our STEP Up resources also include free tools for download, including:
- Security audit checklist from Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS): This outlines a list of standards that define threats common to schools at each educational level. These standards were developed by a coalition of law enforcement, security professionals, architects, and school administrators.
- School safety checklist: This is a basic checklist of some fundamental things that every school can do to strengthen security and keep students and staff safer, from checking locks and updating software on security devices to providing training for faculty and staff.
For more information about STEP Up and to see if your local school can participate, visit www.convergint.com/STEPUp.
You recently announced that you’re expanding STEP Up in 2022, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
This year alone, Convergint has delivered security system upgrades at 29 schools in cities including Atlanta, GA., Fairplay, CO., Quincy, MA., and Tualatin, OR., with labor contributed from more than 300 Convergint colleagues. The majority of these efforts took place on June 10, 2022, as part of Convergint’s 21st annual Convergint Social Responsibility Day.
In Atlanta, more than 100 colleagues from our local Atlanta Convergint Technology Center went out to 26 schools in the Atlanta Public School District to map and mark doors and entrances with the First Responder Numbering System in compliance with PASS.
In Fairplay, CO., 70 local colleagues worked with the Park County RE-2 School District to install a specialized one-button security system that helps improve communications between the school and local law enforcement. This project with Park County marks Convergint’s fifth STEP Up school project completed in Colorado.
For the remainder of 2022, Convergint plans to continue prioritizing STEP Up projects. This includes installing 20 new security cameras at Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences in Oregon City, OR. on June 24. More than 100 Portland Convergint colleagues will participate in the effort to install the cameras and complete maintenance and beautification projects, including painting and landscaping, around the school in just one day.
Does Convergint give back to local communities in any additional ways outside of STEP Up?
Convergint’s culture of giving and ongoing commitment to social responsibility is central to our success as an organization. It’s at the heart of everything we do. In 2002, Convergint Social Responsibility Day was launched to commemorate the founding of the company, reinforcing our ongoing commitment to service in the local communities where colleagues live and work. Since then, Convergint annually closes for a full work day, encouraging colleagues to identify and give back to the charities and organizations that they are passionate about. One of our most deeply-held Values and Beliefs is: “We believe in balanced lives – family, business, community.” And we abide by this every day across the entire organization. It enables us to find meaning and purpose in our work and drives the collaboration and generosity that make our business successful.