Continental has partnered with local FIRST robotics teams for years, between sponsoring teams and providing opportunities for employees to volunteer as coaches and mentors. Thomas Klena, Head of Mechanical Engineering, Body and Security, Americas, has volunteered with FIRST Robotics for years. “Watching the students ‘get it’ and achieve the challenge of the year is very rewarding,” Klena said. “Plus the competitions are generally ‘high positive energy’ events with dancing in the aisles, so you cannot help but enjoy it!” In 2018, Continental had the honor of sponsoring Team RUSH from Clarkston, MI which won the Robotics World Championship.
Continental’s Morganton, NC plant has sponsored the Burke County Public Schools Science Fair since 2015. Each year, Continental helps to fund the event while employees volunteer as consultants and judges. With its annual commitment, the company hopes to ensure a long-lasting and quality experience for the middle school students who participate. As one of the area's largest high-tech employers, Continental collaborates closely with the public school system, the local community college and the North Carolina School of Science and Math.
In April 2018, Continental hosted female students from the Pontiac school district to hear about the opportunities for women in STEM. A panel of female Continental executives candidly discussed their career journeys. Mary Reardon, Head of Talent Acquisition for Continental in North America, also discussed how Continental is fostering flexible work practices and actively increasing diversity and inclusion in management.