16 Aug 2019
Nearly a decade ago, a team of Doe Run employees defined eight Sustainability Principles to direct our business decisions. Two principles keep us accountable to our communities.
- We will respect community values, priorities and interest in our business decisions.
- We will provide enduring benefits that enhance our communities.
When asked, community members have told us the top challenges facing our Southeast Missouri region include education and workforce readiness, health care, and infrastructure. That’s why Doe Run focused our community engagement in those areas over the last decade. In 2018, Doe Run donated buildings and land worth over $1.6 million to be repurposed to meet community needs, as well as supported many area education initiatives.
Our goal is to provide enduring benefits to the community. A bridge or building benefits the community for generations. A scholarship can put a student on the path to a stable career for the rest of their life.Steve Batts, vice president and chief operating officer
Property Donations Support Community Health and Safety
Access to health care can be a challenge for many residents in our communities. It can take an hour for some rural residents to reach doctors, dentists and other health care providers. That’s why Doe Run donated its former bowling alley building in Viburnum, Missouri, to Missouri Highlands Health Care. The facility is expanding health-related services to the communities in Iron and neighboring counties.
“Residents in the area often drive long distances to get the treatment they need,” said Karen White, chief executive officer of Missouri Highlands Health Care. “With this building, we’re expanding our services, and increasing access for residents in the seven-county area Missouri Highlands serves.”
Missouri Highlands will relocate its existing medical clinic and behavioral health services to the new building and, based on feedback from the community, is considering adding other types of care, including dental services, substance abuse treatment and wellness education.
“We built the bowling alley for the community in 1975. After the bowling alley closed, it was time for it to have a new purpose,” said Steve Batts, vice president and chief operating officer. “Expanded access to health and wellness services closer to home is so important in helping our communities and neighbors thrive. We are eager to see how Missouri Highlands reinvents the space.”
Other capital donations in 2018 included:
- Transferring ownership of the 5.6-acre baseball complex and concession stand to Iron County C-4 School District.
- Donating Doe Run land adjacent to the Herculaneum American Veterans (AMVETS) Post MO-0042 to that organization.
- Transferring the Herculaneum Fire Station building and its land from Doe Run ownership to the Herculaneum Fire Department. We originally donated $750,000 for construction of the fire station on our property in 2007. The station features five apparatus and equipment bays, training and conference rooms, weight training room and shower facilities, fire chief offices, and a bunk room for 24-hour, on-site staffing.
“Doe Run’s donations have been a tremendous asset to the fire department over the years,” said Herculaneum Fire Chief Kevin Baker. “With this donation, we now will have the infrastructure and collateral necessary to finance the equipment or improvements the fire department may need. We greatly appreciate the relationship we have had for decades with Doe Run.”
Education and Workforce Readiness
Doe Run concentrates much of its community investment on education and workforce readiness because of the lifelong impact these programs make in the lives of area students and institutions.
“Nothing has a more lasting benefit than access to education,” said Sharon Gietl, Doe Run vice president – information technology and human resources.
A major focus for today’s students is science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM), education that prepares them for the workforce of tomorrow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that STEM jobs will grow by 18.7% from 2010 to 2020.
The mining and lead battery industries provide quality jobs across the United States, as well as here in our Southeast Missouri home, for students interested in many STEM fields – engineering, electrical, advanced technologies and more. Today, the U.S. lead battery industry alone directly employs more than 20,000 people across the country, and mining operations employ more than 195,000.
In 2018, Doe Run helped students access summer camps, industry events and job training. This included two scholarships to the 2018 Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) Summer Explosives Camp for high school juniors and seniors, and sponsoring two college students to attend the annual Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration conference.
Other education contributions made by Doe Run and our employees include:
- Annually providing five scholarships to Missouri S&T and three to Mineral Area College.
- Teaching minerals education to area students through the Serendipity career day at Salem Middle School, various classroom visits and the annual Fall Rocks event.
- Donating funds and providing expertise to Kaleidoscope Discovery Center’s model mine display.
- Providing funding for robotics equipment for Green Forest R-2 School District, for upgrades to the Missouri S&T Mining Ventilation Lab, for Project Lead The Way’s STEM curriculum at Valley R-VI, and for a newly established licensed practical nursing program at the Southwest Baptist University (SBU) Salem Campus.
When it comes to our support of local schools, we sometimes receive questions about Doe Run’s property tax appeal with Reynolds County. We are pleased that we have resolved the taxation dispute with Reynolds County. Learn more about this topic here.