After multi-billion-dollar merger, semiconductor giant gives back

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Tigard-Tualatin Family Resource Center director Catherine West speaks with Lam Research Corporation vice president of manufacturing Ken Pacioni and Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden. Pacioni presented the center with a generous donation in recognition of of the organization's service to the community.When Novellus Systems and Lam Research Corporation merged last June, the semiconductor giant became Tualatin’s largest private employer, simply by keeping one of its manufacturing facilities in town.

While the tech giant’s name may have changed, many of the faces were familiar as Ken Pacioni, now vice president of manufacturing at Lam Research, reaffirmed his company’s support of the Tigard-Tualatin Family Resource Center. During a small ceremony at Tigard High School last Tuesday, center Director Catherine West somewhat playfully accepted the $10,000 check as “a good neighbor grant and a housewarming gift to our community.”

Pacioni replied that it was a gift of recognition for the center’s “efficiency and effectiveness of delivering service.”

For the past 11 years, the company now known as Lam Research has matched employee donations to TTFRC, last year giving a total of $26,000. Pacioni assured the organization that despite the day’s check, they could expect similar employee-matched fundraising as the holidays drew nearer.

Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden expressed gratitude to the expanding tech company for not only bringing more jobs to the area, but for giving back to its own community. Ogden acknowledged the “great need and disparity” that existed in what is otherwise widely regarded as the “economic engine of Oregon.”

Pacioni praised TTFRC’s level of service, particularly in a county where more than 25 percent of the residents live at or are dangerously close to poverty level.

TTFRC is funded by the Washington County Commission for Children and Families and serves the Tigard-Tualatin School District. TTFRC uses its funds to provide underserved families with essentials like food and transportation, gas vouchers that allow families to travel to medical appointments and job interviews and furniture vouchers for families living in shelters. In addition, TTFRC funds provide items that cannot be purchased with food stamps, such as diapers and basic personal care items. In some cases, TTFRC offers baby formula and prescription assistance.

Now in its 19th year, TTFRC estimates that it has provided aid to more than 115,000 people. TTFRC serves approximately 2,000 families a year, West said, in a county where the shelter waitlist for a family is on average five weeks long, and in a school district that has seen the number of children in lunch assistance programs double over the past decade.

“Programs like these have been especially important in the Tigard-Tualatin area, because of our community’s distance from the traditional hubs of resources in Hillsboro and in Beaverton,” noted Maureen Wolf, chairwoman of the Tigard-Tualatin District School Board.

In light of the recent Novellus-Lam Research merger, Pacioni acknowledged the difficulty both companies had faced while trying to stay in business for two decades.

“But even more difficult is to be successful as a resource center in a community where your work is based on donations,” he said. “And the fact that the Tigard-Tualatin Family Resource Center has been in business for 20 years says a lot for the organization, it says a lot for sustainability, it says a lot for the community in terms of support.”

As a manufacturing executive, Pacioni emphasized how impressed he and his colleagues were by the efficiency of operations at TTFRC.

“We were blown away when we came through the tour here, because Catherine and the staff do so much with so little,” he said.

West thanked Pacioni and his corporation for their ongoing largesse.

“Our goal at the resource center is to help families get connected to the services that they need so that kids can focus on school and learning, rather than the many issues that often arise from poverty,” West said. “We’re so grateful for companies like Lam Research for helping us reach this goal.”

For more information about the Tigard-Tualatin Family Resource Center, visit .

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