Cadwell frequently receives laptops from customer trade-ins and from its service loaner fleet. Previously, the company would auction them to employees or online. But CFO Mark Olenius had a different idea this year.
“Mark thought it would be a good idea to get these into the hands of students who need them for online schooling this fall,” CEO Patrick Jensen said.
They implemented an employee loaner pool, and any employee who needed access to a computer for themselves or a family member would get access to a laptop from the company supply.
Then Jensen asked employees who had extra laptops at home to add to the pool, which would in turn be donated to local colleges for their laptop loaner programs. Once employees were taken care of, 90 laptops remained. Each computer had a new hard drive installed at Cadwell.
“Roughly forty percent of students at Heritage and WSU-TC are first-generation college students, many without access to computers at home,” Jensen said. “Having all classes online with closed campuses has greatly impacted the ability of those without computers to continue taking classes.”
Dr. Kazuhiro Sonada, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs from Heritage University; Aaron Burmbaugh, Director of Campus IT and Veterans Center Advisor from WSU TC; and Jeff Rivera from CBC trekked through the smoke to pick up the computers from Cadwell’s Kennewick headquarters.
“The laptops will be put into technology loaner programs managed by the school libraries, ensuring they get into the hands of students who need them most,” Jensen said.