Creatively Supporting Communities with GE Johnson

Parklets were built on top of parking spaces along South Tejon Street in Colorado Springs, providing additional outdoor seating during the pandemic.

By Courtney Alexander

It is extremely important to GE Johnson employees to give back to the communities where they live and work, and their ingenuity has shown itself with the creative ways they continue to support the community during the restrictions of the pandemic. Last December when GE Johnson and HBA Cares partnered up with the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs to build wooden parklets to provide downtown restaurants additional outdoor seating. Restaurant capacity restrictions were limiting businesses to outdoor dining and take-out services only and local restaurant owners were in need.

GE Johnson employees begin construction of parklets

Parklets are open-air sidewalk extensions that can provide additional outdoor seating for dining. The parklets were built on top of parking spaces along South Tejon Street, providing additional outdoor seating for Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub, Jax Fish House, Colorado Craft, and Red Gravy. The four parklets hold up to 128 people, helping restaurants to keep going as they handle the changing capacity orders. RTA Architects helped to design the parklets and materials for the project were paid for by the CARES Act.

Due to poor weather conditions, GE Johnson’s Pikes Peak Visitor Center project team was unable to work that same day. Members of the team jumped in to volunteer, completing the project in one day. The build was originally slated to last three days, but the excitement of the team and their expertise in carpentry helped them to knock it all out in 12 hours.

“Anything we can do to help the community and these restaurants, we are all in,” said Tim Redfern, construction manager for GE Johnson and Colorado Springs native. He helped the team from the Pikes Peak project pivot to the parklet build since the project site was not accessible that day due to snow.

GE Johnson Foundation

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, GE Johnson is continually finding ways to support the community where there is a need. The GE Johnson Foundation was established to engage the hearts of these communities through focused, purposeful philanthropic giving—investing both time and resources into where we live and work.

The company have found the following focus areas to have the greatest impact in supporting healthy, vibrant communities and building lasting relationships: Education, Health and Human Services, Sports & Recreation, Arts and Culture, Environment and Economic Development.

“At GE Johnson, it’s quite evident that people and community come first. I love working for a company whose moral fabric shines through in everything it does, and with people who are thoughtful and genuine,” said Stella Hodgkins, corporate citizenship manager.

GE Johnson is currently hosting their annual food drive in partnership with HBA Cares benefitting Care & Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado and the Food Bank of the Rockies for the Front Range. Due to the pandemic, this year’s food drive is virtual and project teams are collecting monetary donations. A simple donation of $1 can provide up to eight meals at the Care & Share Food Bank. The most vulnerable populations have been hit the hardest and donations will go a long way to provide meals in Colorado communities. The 2019 Food Drive raised an impressive 104,856 pounds of food.

Past community projects that GE Johnson has supported include Colorado Construction Career Days, Build Like a Girl Scouts’ Day, and Habitat for Humanity. In 2018 GE Johnson received the Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal for corporate citizenship and to date has supported more than 320 organizations..


Courtney Alexander is the communications coordinator at GE Johnson. Contact Courtney at

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