The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has given its 2010 U.S. Community Service Award to Navistar International Corp. The award is presented by the Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC).

BCLC recognized Navistar for its efforts to keeps its employees working during the downturn at its Diesel of Alabama plant. Navistar paired up employees with local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Care Assurance Systems for the Aging and Homebound, and the Salvation Army rather than laying off those employees.

“This is a very prestigious honor for a unique effort that made a meaningful impact in the community—and at Navistar. It was a win for everyone,” said Daniel C. Ustian, Navistar chairman, president & CEO. “The local charities benefited because they received some much-needed help; Navistar won because we were able to retain a skilled and talented workforce; and our employees won because they were able to keep their jobs with full pay and benefits until production picked up.”

Twenty companies were considered for the award, which the Chamber said is the “highest honor for businesses, trade associations and chambers of commerce engaging in corporate social responsibility.”

“Despite—or perhaps because of – the tough economic times, companies like Navistar Diesel of Alabama are developing innovative ways to serve area community organizations and look out for their employees,” said U.S. Chamber BCLC executive director Stephen Jordan. “We congratulate Navistar for winning the 2010 U.S. Community Service Award, and are delighted to share their story with other companies and communities going through similar situations.”

A full list of U.S. Chamber awards can be viewed at