Honoring ancestors, forging the future
In June 2023, Lincoln watched as a plaque was placed at a Pratt & Whitney site in Lethbridge, Canada, acknowledging that it stands on ancestral Indigenous land. That plaque was the first of its kind at the company, and the group is partnering with colleagues across RTX to install additional markers at other sites. They include the Raytheon Diné Facility, which stands on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico.
“All of these places were home to many, many Indigenous people for thousands of years, so acknowledging those people existed – and that we have Indigenous people working at this company – that makes it incredibly meaningful to be recognized and that we add value to this company,” said Reed, a principal electrical engineer at Raytheon, an RTX business.
“It’s so personal. It’s so meaningful,” Lincoln said. “One thing that resonates for me is celebrating the resilience of Indigenous people around the world. As we’ve expanded, we’ve gotten to know about new global Indigenous groups, and it’s a reminder of where we’ve come from.”
Recruitment is another important goal for the group. 2023 has been its best recruiting year to date, Reed said, in part because of RTX’s longtime corporate sponsorship of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society. Members of RTX RAIN attend the organization’s events to connect with prospective employees, and in 2023 that led to seven new full-time hires.
And the community continues to grow. After Lincoln, Reed and members of RAIN traveled to ten RTX sites across the U.S., Canada and Mexico in the past year to introduce the ERG to more employees, RTX RAIN saw a 15 percent increase in membership. The “road show” also led to six new RTX RAIN site chapters formed in the U.S. and Canada, and new connections made with employees in New Zealand.
“It’s a group of people you want to keep coming back to,” said Reed of the RTX RAIN community. “That’s a big part of our recruitment and retention draw – that no matter what happens in your day job, there’s a positive place you can go to with people who are similar to you or care about the same things.”