Korean steel conglomerate POSCO announced today that it has merged POSWITH and POSecohousing, two of its social enterprises established to create jobs for the vulnerable, to form POSCO Humans.
A ceremony was held at the POSCO headquarters last Friday, where 150 people attended including President Seongkyu Lee of the Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled, Pohang Employment Office head Hanbong Yu of the Ministry of Employment and Labor, and Korea Social Enterprise Promotion Agency Business Division head Jonggak Kim.
According to a release, the company plans to more systematically and broadly carry out POSCO Family`s social contribution activities, as well as the government’s policies of “Standard Business for the Disabled” and “Social Enterprises to Hire Vulnerable Classes”.
Big businesses in Korea are no stranger to creating social enterprises. SK Group, whose chairman Chey Tae-won is often seen as a strong supporter of social enterprise, leads Korean conglomerates with the most social enterprises created last year.
POSCO established POSWITH in 2007 and was the company’s first social enterprise. It provided a range of services to POSCO, including information technology support and cleaning services.
POSWITH became known for fostering a unique environment for its employees, encouraging them to laugh at least once every minute, read more than two books a month, and be grateful for life three times a day. Over half of its workforce – 180 of the total 344 employees – is people with disability.
POSecohousing was established in 2009 as an independent social enterprise, and carried out environmentally friendly construction projects. Of its 191 employees, 103 (or 54%) are from vulnerable classes.
POSCO Humans will focus on regional issues such as creating jobs, supporting vulnerable classes, and improving welfare for the disabled. They also plan to expand employment for vulnerable people.
Photo from POSCO.
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