Fairfield-area nonprofits to discuss effects of GE leaving

(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Leaders of nonprofit organizations in the Fairfield area are gathering this weekend to discuss how to deal with the departure of General Electric.

The company’s relocation of its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston has charities fretting because many GE employees are known for their community involvement.

Many nonprofits have a GE employee on their Board of Directors. The company also matches 50 percent of employees’ donations to charities.

The discussion scheduled for Saturday morning at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield will be moderated by state Sen. Tony Hwang, a Republican who says the company’s move will be a major setback to local philanthropic contributions.

“The Coastal United Way of Fairfield County nets nearly $6 million in corporate donations and matching employee funds. Where is that void going to be filled?” said Hwang. “In a difficult economy philanthropy is a very delicate matter.”

There were representatives from hospitals, churches and other community organizations at the forum, which was open to the public.

General Electric employs 800 people in Fairfield. It announced earlier this month that it was leaving, with the move expected to occur in stages and be completed in 2018.

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