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/ People Who Deliver

Galaxy of Giving: Supporting STARBASE Minnesota–Duluth’s STEM Mission

09/28/2023

Since our founding in 2007, Involta has held the core belief that technology is more than just towers of servers, cables and computers. Instead, it is an intricate fabric that connects us all, fosters unity and has the potential to drive positive change.

Beyond providing enterprise-class hybrid IT and data center solutions, the Involta team shares a deep passion for putting good into the world by engaging with and supporting our communities. In 2018, this passion led to the creation of Involta Cares, a company-wide initiative that enables and empowers employees to donate their time, talents and expertise to ensure a brighter future for generations to come.

Involta Cares About STEM Education

Earlier this year, Involta launched our inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report. As part of our social responsibility, we strive to build an equitable environment for all skills, abilities and backgrounds, giving those who may be underserved and underrepresented in the workforce the opportunity to explore STEM career paths. The technology landscape evolves quickly, so there’s always a need for new people to join the industry.

We recognize the importance of strengthening the pipeline of the future workforce and technology leaders. Since 2018, we’ve partnered with STARBASE Minnesota–Duluth to donate time and expertise to expand STEM opportunities in the northern region. STARBASE Minnesota–Duluth is an organization dedicated to finding the next generation of leaders in STEM fields. The program provides students with innovative, hands-on, free education opportunities to help them envision a future in STEM.

Lucas Mistelske, Vice President of Client Experience at Involta, has witnessed first-hand the impact that educational programs like STARBASE have on younger generations. Lucas joined the construction committee in 2018 when STARBASE expanded to Duluth. His extensive expertise in data center construction and high-performance IT infrastructure contributed to the planning and building of STARBASE’s new facility. Since then, Lucas and other Involtans have regularly visited STARBASE classrooms as Launch Speakers, where they share their career journeys and tech industry experiences and answer students’ questions.

“The moment you step into the STARBASE classrooms, a mix of emotions consumes you,” explained Lucas. “You walk in, see an energetic group of 5th graders, and you’re instantly taken back to your own elementary school experiences. It’s chaotic and fun, and amidst the chaos, you see them collaboratively working through intricate projects that have real outcomes. It makes you realize this program’s impact on every kid that comes through STARBASE’s doors. Inspiring doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

Empowering Future STEM Leaders

By expanding access to educational STEM opportunities, STARBASE Minnesota-Duluth helps underserved and underrepresented kids in the Northeastern Minnesota region envision a future in STEM careers. Representation matters, and seeing themselves represented in the industry gives kids the confidence to follow a path in STEM, knowing that no matter their background, they can succeed.

STARBASE encourages students to explore new versions of themselves. At the beginning of the week, students choose a call sign that empowers them to enter the classroom and be whoever they want to be. Instructors lead students through projects with real-life applications—like the CAD program Cirrus uses to design jet engines—clearly and concisely explaining different processes, methods and outcomes.

“It’s a surreal experience of education, fun, organization, learning and cooperation,” said Lucas. “Barriers are broken down in these classrooms, allowing students to be whomever they want. When you couple that experience with the (often teary-eyed) testimonials from teachers at the end of the week who are amazed at what these kids have accomplished—saying that their student has never taken the lead on the project, or that they have had difficulties stepping out of their shell to work with others—you’re overcome with emotion. That’s the impact of STARBASE.”

STARBASE: Galaxy of Giving

On October 5, 2023, STARBASE will host its inaugural Galaxy of Giving event, presented by Cirrus Aircraft, at the Cirrus Innovation Center. This event supports various STARBASE initiatives, including technology advancement, staff education and training, vital outreach and educational projects and the ongoing operational program needs. Involta is proud to continue our dedication to the STARBASE mission as the Galaxy of Giving Printing, Design, and Marketing Sponsor.

Ensuring a Brighter Future for All

At Involta, we are committed to creating a more equitable future for all. Through outreach, education and partnerships with important programs like STARBASE, we are working to build a future workforce that allows everyone to grow and thrive. Together, we are creating the next generation of STEM leaders and trailblazers.

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