During a time when many are outwardly expressing concern over corporate irresponsibility, at least one CEO is making an effort to change the conversation; by changing his perspective.

The president and Ceo of the shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has announced plans to forgo his base salary and invest in an educational assistance fund for his company’s employee’s; or rather, for their children.

Huntington Ingalls CEO Mike Petters said, in a news release on Monday, that this money will go towards improving both early childhood education assistance as well as college scholarships.

Mike PettersBut just how much money are we talking here? Well, last year, Petters’ base salary totaled $950,000. His total compensation, though, reached upwards of $8 million. Altogether, his income includes the salary, annual incentives, and pension value shifts.

“It will be some time before all the details are ironed out, but it’s my hope that this program, when it begins operations, will provide the children of HII employees opportunities for college scholarships and financial assistance for early childhood education,” Petters confirmed.

Now, HII has invested in STEM education programs before, as workforce development is a top priority for the company as a whole. And so, establishing an education fund—particlarly in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)—makes perfect sense. However, previous efforts have been through grants and career expo investments, as well as partnerships with community colleges and technical schools with the aim to specifically develop trade-based curriculum. They have also invested in summer internships for both students as well as teachers, and have even opened industry-leading apprentice schools at both of the company’s shipyards.

“I often speak about the importance of education,” Petters remarks. “As a business leader and as a member of my community, I am personally and professionally committed to every segment of the education pipeline. I also believe it’s my responsibility to demonstrate that commitment by investing in it. It’s a long-game investment, but to keep our national economy strong and to remain competitive on the world stage, we must invest in educating our future leaders.”

Finally, he concludes, “We hope to be able to communicate details later this year, but I’m very honored and excited to be a part of this effort to help the children of our employees.”

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