For Immediate Release
202-872-2680 (media hotline)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2020) – Pepco today announced several major grants totaling $1.25 million to support local businesses and students seeking careers in energy and related fields. As part of the company's ongoing support for customers and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pepco will provide $400,000 to support students in the District of Columbia and Maryland who are pursuing higher education and vocational training—helping ensure a sustainable local pipeline of talent and a workforce that is prepared for future careers in energy and related sectors. The company also is expanding its support for small business recovery by providing grants totaling $850,000 to small businesses in the District of Columbia, as well as Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant impacts to individuals, families and communities across the area, highlighting inequities in access to resources and support systems for many residents and businesses," said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings. "These grants will help ensure our local students can continue their studies and achieve their dreams, and provide assistance to our local, small businesses who are so incredibly essential to supporting the long-term vibrancy of our communities."
Pepco's Community Scholars Program will provide grants to local community colleges to support students as gap funding. Partnering institutions will make award decisions based on a student's financial need and pursuit of degrees in energy-related fields. Educational institutions receiving grants for the 2020-2021 academic year include:
Funding for small businesses will be available to locally owned and operated businesses and will supplement existing small business recovery programs to help meet unprecedented demand for financial assistance during the pandemic. Pepco is providing grants as follows:
This $1.25 million to promote economic recovery and community vibrancy for our region is in addition to the $825,000 in support committed over the course of March and April by Pepco and the Exelon Foundation to assist our customers and communities as the economic impacts of the pandemic accelerated. Pepco's additional financial support is part of the company's overall efforts to help customers and communities manage through the pandemic, and provide opportunities to residents to continue their education, ensuring a strong and skilled energy workforce and small business community for the region as it begins to recover.
Today's commitment also builds on $5.2 million in contributions committed by Pepco and Exelon in 2017 to the District of Columbia's Infrastructure Academy (DCIA), which was launched by Mayor Muriel Bowser to support workforce development programs for District residents. In August 2019, Pepco celebrated the first graduates to complete the Pepco Utility Training School program at DCIA, 100 percent of whom received job offers from Pepco and Pepco contractors of choice. The company also just celebrated its second graduating class from the program.
Pepco has also provided more than $2 million to support workforce development programs in Maryland, with an emphasis on renewable energy, energy efficiency and STEM. Pepco is helping create future jobs through the Prince George's County Energy Academy to ensure residents have an opportunity to take advantage of careers in the energy industry.
Having a local pool of talent to provide safe, reliable service is critical to the company's commitment to the community. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pepco crews have played a vital role, as first responders, maintaining reliable energy service for customers large and small. Crews work around-the-clock, whenever needed and in accordance with local ordinances, to provide critical infrastructure that powers hospitals and health care facilities, federal, state and local response centers, and businesses, as well as the many homes that make up the region.