Service Stats

Location: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Organization: Power Design
Dollars contributed: $650,000
Number of charities benefiting: About 200

Started as a family-run business in Florida in 1989, Power Design in St. Petersburg has grown into one of the country’s most visible electrical contractors, partnering with developers and general contractors on large multi­family projects in 20 states. The firm’s work encompasses a variety of submarkets, such as student and senior housing, mixed-use commercial, and condominiums. 

The company does much more than construct buildings, however. With a passion for people—its own, 825 employees as well as the residents in its communities—Power Design gives to those in need through an innovative partnership. 

Seven years ago, the company’s leaders went to the contractor’s different markets and asked employees to vote on what the corporate core values should be. The five values that emerged—integrity, accountability, ­innovation, teamwork, and growth—led to Project V5. But that was just the beginning. 

The company also set up a charitable program, with proceeds coming from scrap metal and unused wire collected at its 130 jobsites, to be brought to a metal collection facility and turned in for cash. The funds would be kept at the corporate office and allocated throughout the year to nonprofit organizations that employees cared about, both locally and nationally. 

On average, Project V5 has funded 100 projects annually, at varying dollar amounts, from The Florida Aquarium to Habitat for Humanity to the SPCA global animal rescue program to the highly publicized ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge. More than 50 employees submitted ice-bucket videos in return for a company donation of $10,000 to the organization. 

While the funds of course help their recipients financially, they’re also used to aid volunteers wanting to improve community life by planting sea oats at a beach or constructing pet walks, to cite two examples. Altogether, more than $650,000 has been distributed to approximately 200 charities.

And although it wasn’t the prime goal, Project V5 has made another huge difference: It’s boosted employee morale. 

“It gives people a sense of pride and empowerment by knowing they can request a donation to a charity they’re passionate about and know that the company cares and supports them,” says Rachel Podos, marketing specialist.