During 2011 Progress Energy invested approximately $9 million in the communities it serves via the Progress Energy Foundation. The Foundation, which is funded each year by the company’s board of directors using shareholder funds, recently announced support for schools in Florida and North & South Carolina for 2012.
“Every dollar we contribute to education is an investment in the future of our state,” said Vincent Dolan, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. “We are proud to support programs that engage and excite students about energy, alternative energy and energy efficiency.”
Dolan is referring to the half a million dollar investment in the Florida school system. The money will fund energy education classroom projects as well as workforce development at high school career academies throughout the state. The funds will support public-education foundations, science centers and career academies.
Over the past 10 years the Progress Energy Foundation has invested $17 million to assist education initiatives in Florida.
Likewise the students, teachers and parents in the Carolinas are also celebrating the $350,000 Progress is investing in their education system. With regards to the investment Lloyd Yates, President and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas said,
“An investment in our students is an investment in our community and our shared future. To increase awareness and build tomorrow’s energy workforce, we must introduce energy concepts and related skills to students early in their education.”
In the Carolinas, grants were awarded to programs that focus on expanding student and teacher knowledge about energy issues, including alternative energy, energy efficiency and state-of-the-art power systems.
“Helping students discover the tools they need to be successful can provide that extra push to help them move from good to great in their education and in the workplace,” Yates continued.
No one knows the value of these investments more than Progress Energy Vice President of Corporate Public Affairs Hilda Pinnix-Ragland. In addition to her executive role at Progress Hilda Pinnix-Ragland is also the chair of the State Board of Community Colleges in North Carolina
“Getting students thinking about and into career pathways in high school can only benefit them as they move into higher education and beyond,” Pinnix-Ragland said. “North Carolina’s community colleges work closely with K-12 partners, businesses and universities to develop and define pathways to successfully move students from high school into the work place. Everyone wins – employers, educators, our state, our communities and, most importantly, our students.”
Progress has stated on its website that in all it plans to invest a total of $1.2 million in K-12 education throughout Florida and the Carolinas in 2012.
Pinnix-Ragland concludes that corporate support of education is critical in helping to build a well-educated workforce for the future.
“With our economy working to regain its momentum, states need strong business partners to help strengthen educational efforts, and Progress is proud to be one of those partners.”