LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville based tech-company has spent the last six months tracking and helping protect its Ukrainian employees fleeing a war-torn country.

Slingshot is a software development company with employees in Louisville, Chicago, Nashville, and since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine invasion, more than two dozen all over the globe.

When employees open up their laptops for its virtual meetings, it's not unusual to hear air raid sirens on the other end of the call from its employees still in Ukraine.

"They'd have to drop because of air raid sirens going off and go to safety," Chris Howard, CIO for Slingshot, said.

"As a CIO you have to plan for all sort of different crazy stuff going down," he said. "I never thought I'd have to do a plan around an invasion." 

Howard said the company spent months preparing business continuity plans, and warning customers, just in case the war became a reality.

"All the way up until that day, we really didn't think that would happen," Howard said.

Slingshot employees 25 Ukrainians. Working as developers, designers, and project managers for the software company.

"The way they think is similar to the way we do, their technical skill is really great," Howard said when describing his co-workers.

But while the colleagues all share similarities, he said it's hard to know what it is exactly like to live through the war. His colleagues share stories when sometimes meeting virtually.

"One of our developers was talking about their hometown being bombed and you know, we've had situations where most of our crew is in Lviv and you have cruise missiles," Howard said.

Slingshot's CIO said all employees have moved in the last six months. Several to the western part of their home country.

"We had some people moving by train or any means possible form the east to west and we would lose contact, through our partner we would get, every once in awhile, they would share an update, 'hey this person is in this area trying to get a ride,'" Howard said.

Howard said some of his co-workers have even re-enlisted in the Ukrainian army to fight.

"We've had a couple developers that had some past experience that decided to go rejoin and help with that effort," Howard said. "I'll see interviews of soldiers that are fighting and they'll mention they have a past software experience and that just reminds me of some of the guys we have."

Other Slingshot employees have moved to new counties, even continents.

"One in Canada, her name is Julia, she doesn't know if she's going to remain there long-term," Howard said. "They're just trying to figure it out."

Howard said the company is flexible with their co-workers overseas, and promising to keep them employed as long as they would like to work.

"I feel like they engage in the projects just to escape what's going on there at home," he said.

The company has donated financially, specifically to organizations heir Ukrainian colleagues recommend.

For a list of Slingshot's recommended charities to donate to, click here. 

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