John Hargrove has worked for Roper Corporation since 2012 as a design engineer, working with the Free-Standing Model Year team. While his job keeps him busy, he’s also found time to volunteer with the students in the Walker County and North Georgia communities through Roper’s Affinity groups programs.
Affinity groups are groups founded on the purposes of inclusion and diversity. Through diverse perspectives and shared goals, affinity groups ensure an inclusive environment where all are valued, included, and empowered to succeed.
“Affinity groups are extremely important to the morale and culture of Roper, as it is a unique community that recognizes the importance of diversity,” said Hargrove. “The Roper team has all ethnicities and various religious and political beliefs that come together here in LaFayette. Roper employs individuals from as far north as Chattanooga and as far south as Atlanta. It is our ability to work together and understand each other that allows us to be successful.” Hargrove belongs to the African American forum Affinity group.
Hargrove’s group created a program called “Power Hour” in the summer of 2019 that works with students at the Chatooga County Boys and Girls Club. Since that time, approximately 150 students ranging in age from 8-16 years have received help with after school tutoring and homework. “Tutoring helps ensure we have a strong community,” stated Hargrove. “We’re possibly creating future engineers and a strong workforce that may be Roper’s next generation of employees. And the fact that we are helping the children who form our community helps provide support to retain current employees.” Nine members of the African American forum Affinity group meet with the students two days a month for three to four hours each visit. The members represent all departments across Roper, including Fabrication, Assembly, Quality, Materials and Engineering.
The program allows Hargrove and his fellow Affinity group members to see the value that Roper has for its community and employees. Hargrove says the program has reinvigorated his pride as a Roper employee.
Roper boasts eight affinity groups, whose overall goals are recruiting, retaining, and community service. Working and volunteering within the community helps educate the youth and promote all three of these goals. In the past 2 years, the eight groups’ members volunteered over 2000 hours.