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Christophe Laborde and IFE Côte Vermeille, acting locally

Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées - Banyuls-sur-mer
Access to employment

‘We must be active participants in the development of our area.’

10/16/2014

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‘We must be active participants in the development of our area’ is a core value of Christophe Laborde, chairman of Cegelec Perpignan. By sponsoring the social integration enterprise IFE Côte Vermeille, he puts into action this core value by helping people ‘who have not always had a second chance’.

Christophe Laborde joined the subsidiary of VINCI Énergies in Perpignan more than twenty years ago as a junior electrical engineer. Today, at age 45, the chairman of Cegelec Perpignan finds it very important that his company preserve strong local roots and align its actions with its values, notably by building partnerships with local associations and clubs. The sponsor is also personally involved by working with young adults attending the École Régionale de la Deuxième Chance in Perpignan. ‘I introduce them to our professions—indoor heating and cooling, electricity, networks and infrastructures; I talk with them, offer internships and training... These talks are always rewarding,’ insists the man who offers lasting support to one struggling young person every year by offering training and when possible a job.

Showcase local heritage

Born into a farming family and therefore open to the idea of working the land, Christophe Laborde did not hesitate to sponsor the social integration enterprise IFE Côte Vermeille when it asked him to in the summer of 2014. ‘Initially, they wanted the VINCI Foundation’s help to buy a lorry. Today, we are examining the safety of their worksites. We also work with VINCI Autoroutes to set up a “showcase” at the Catalans rest stop on the A9 to promote IFE’s work and their splendid Côte Vermeille territory.’ Concretely, the work of IFE Côte Vermeille—40 employees at four social integration workshops and a staff of 13 in the social integration enterprise—is a perfect match for the values of its sponsor: promoting a territory and local action. ‘Our work consists of restoring old Banyuls Collioure vines, grown in low dry stone walls—restoring them and adapting techniques to cultivate them in a more modern manner. All while helping people back to work,’ insists André Pagès, director of IFE Côte Vermeille, who is truly touched by Christophe Laborde’s commitment.

Mobilise forces

For his part, the sponsor was surprised by the profiles of people seeking integration: ‘They are not disconnected from daily life or active work. They have simply not had a second chance or, with the youngest, are a bit lost.’ According to Christophe Laborde, sponsorship allows one to emphasise human aspects by creating a relationship between the employees of the Group and those of integration structures. ‘It is teamwork; as a sponsor I don’t act alone. My co-workers do their bit as well and turn our values into action,’ he insists.

March 2015 © Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

VINCI Foundation works with Reporters d'Espoirs, a French news agency, to highlight and share the innovative social initiatives that it supports. The arrangement includes the writing of articles and exchange on topics that lead to solutions. Thus presented, the initiatives, validated using the criteria of the editorial charter of Reporters d'Espoirs, are intended to demonstrate their development and results.