More than 200 Schneider Electric/Square D business leaders worked alongside Ocean Springs, Miss., residents in January to build six houses with Habitat for Humanity. For the second consecutive year, the rebuilding efforts kick off the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division's annual Leadership Forum and continue to build upon the company's 4½ -year, $7 million commitment to Habitat for Humanity that began in 2007. The funding will provide Habitat homes across North America with Square D brand electrical distribution equipment. The projects in Ocean Springs continue Schneider Electric's commitment to rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf region and assisting Habitat for Humanity in its efforts to help low-income and hurricane-displaced families achieve homeownership.

The Leadership Forum sets the direction of the new business year for the company's senior management team. This year, the forum was held in Biloxi, Miss., to underscore the organization's National Partner relationship with Habitat for Humanity and its commitment to employee involvement and service to the community. Using its senior leadership team as an example, the company wants to illustrate that in 2008, it will be “Building the Future Together.”

“Schneider Electric/Square D is continuing its important commitment to those who feel the impact of the 2005 hurricane season,” said Dave Petratis, president and CEO of the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division. “Our long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity has allowed us to rebuild a region after disaster strikes and make a positive impact where hope is needed.”

The charitable giving doesn't stop with Habitat for Humanity, though. In a separate announcement, Schneider Electric committed to contribute $500,000 to become a Platinum Level sponsor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Arc Flash Collaborative Research Project. The donation will help expand the knowledge of the electric arc phenomena and enhance worker safety through advances in the codes and standards relating to safe employee work practices.

“Schneider Electric's contribution toward Arc Flash research aligns with its commitment to improving electrical standards and ongoing initiatives to protect worker safety,” said Jim Pauley, vice president, industry and government relations for Schneider Electric. “We believe this project will produce the data necessary to further our understanding of arc flash phenomena, which will help us design safer components and provide better guidelines for safely maintaining electrical equipment.”

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