Inclusion Events & Recognition
In 2012, many of our affiliates sponsored diversity and inclusion events that made an impact on local communities as well as employees. Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati) hosted Leadership Symposium 2012: Creating a Competitive Advantage through Diversity & Inclusion in December. More than 375 people from more than 145 companies in the region attended the event, including executives, community leaders, and key business decision-makers in Greater Cincinnati. Attendees gained insights regarding diversity and inclusion from Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati) President & CEO Mike Michael, local business leaders and keynote speaker Andrés Tapia, president of Diversity Best Practices. In addition, the 2012 Regional Indicators Report, Diverse by Design: Meeting the Talent Challenge in a Global Economy, was released at the symposium.
Similarly, Fifth Third Bank (Tennessee) President & CEO Don Abel joined a panel of Nashville's top executives for the Middle Tennessee Diversity Forum's CEO Conversation on Diversity in December. Organized by our Tennessee affiliate's Diversity & Inclusion Council, the event also featured Darrell S. Freeman, executive chairman of Zycron, Inc., John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, and Eduardo Minardi, chief operating officer of Bridgestone Americas.
Also last year, Fifth Third Bank was named 2012 Employer of the Year by the Division of Career Development and Transition, an organization that promotes career development and transition services for persons with disabilities worldwide. The award is presented to an employer or business that has demonstrated remarkable commitment to promoting or providing employment opportunities to students with disabilities. We also were featured as a 2012 Leading Company for Employees with Disabilities by Profiles in Diversity Journal. These points of recognition resulted primarily from our work with Project SEARCH, a transition-to-work training program that provides marketable and competitive skill-building opportunities to young adults with disabilities.
We operate three Project SEARCH campuses: two in Cincinnati and one in Grand Rapids, Mich. Over the past seven years, we have trained more than 180 young adults with disabilities to help them develop marketable and transferable work skills so they can find competitive employment. We hosted 23 interns during the 2012–2013 school year and are proud that 21 Project SEARCH graduates are part of our employee family.