Summer 2019
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Reaching the Underserved

AbbVie is committed to helping communities around the world.

AbbVie is a global research and development-based biopharmaceutical company. With locations in more than 75 countries, its mission is to use talent and a unique approach to innovation to improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology, and neuroscience. The AbbVie Foundation is dedicated to giving back to the underserved around the world through a commitment to building strong communities, sustainable healthcare systems, and effective educational programs.


Last year, AbbVie and its employees volunteered 36,000 hours. Here are examples of their efforts:

Week of Possibilities. AbbVie’s Week of Possibilities began in 2014 with a focus on refreshing and refurbishing learning, meeting, and playing spaces in North Chicago, Illinois, where the company is based. By 2018, employees in more than 50 countries have volunteered in communities where they live and work, completing hands-on volunteer projects that enhance education and opportunities for the underserved. For instance, in Lake County, Illinois, more than 2,600 employee volunteers renovated classrooms and meeting spaces throughout North Chicago Community High School, with a focus on areas supporting the music, ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps), and athletic programs. Likewise, in Redwood City, California, volunteers from AbbVie and partner company Pharmacyclics revitalized spaces where students learn and play at two local schools, and they transformed the media center at Kennedy Middle School into a dynamic learning space and hub with new technology and books.

Science Engineering Exploration Knowledge Initiative. The SEEK initiative is a global science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education program. SEEK partners with other organizations to provide training materials and supplies, and AbbVie employee volunteers develop and deliver 60-minute hands-on programs that introduce elementary and middle school students in underresourced local school districts to key concepts in science and engineering. For example, one activity presents students with a mystery box, and instructors teach them how to use observation and discovery to develop a hypothesis about what’s inside the box without opening it. Students also receive an empty test box, magnet, and different materials, such as rice or sand; they then have the opportunity to run their own experiments. AbbVie has delivered SEEK science programs in the United States, Ireland, Japan, and Puerto Rico.

“AbbVie employees have given their time, talent, and resources. I am exceedingly proud of our employees’ generosity and dedication to transforming education and strengthening our communities.”
—Richard A. Gonzalez, Chairman and CEO, AbbVie

Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.

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About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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