ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 18, 2012) The Progress Energy Foundation will invest $500,000 this year to 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.
"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. Our support of career academies will pay huge dividends when the students who benefit from these programs join the workforce and become active participants in our communities." Over the past 10 years, the Progress Energy Foundation has invested $17 million to assist education initiatives in Florida.
Progress Energy Foundation grants will support these Florida programs:
K-12 schools -- The Progress Energy Foundation provided funding to 18 education foundations throughout its service territory to support math and science education programs with an emphasis on those that include energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental education. Education foundations from Alachua, Citrus, Gulf, Franklin, Hernando, Highlands, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties received funding.
Career Academies - Funding will support workforce development through investments in career academies, which offer high school students the opportunity to receive training in a specific career area such as engineering or environmental science. Grants were awarded to Junior Achievement of West Central Florida and the Career Technical Foundation to support programs for high school students in Pinellas and Pasco counties.
Science Centers - The grant to the Orlando Science Center (OSC) will allow 2500 4th grade student to visit the center's Science Park and use its alternative energy video game component, the Hydrogen X-Change exhibit, which was developed with a previous Progress Energy Foundation grant. The game promotes the understanding of alternative energy sources such as solar, nuclear, wind and biomass.
The Science Center of Pinellas County received a grant to continue offering weather and energy-related programming and curriculum to Pinellas County school children. Through the grant, more than 3,500 children will learn about energy generation, energy efficiency and alternative energy at the center's specially-designed energy room.
Education is one part of the company's overall investment in nonprofit partners in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. Since 2001, Progress Energy has contributed more than $17 million to public education. This year, the company will invest nearly $1.2 million in K-12 education throughout Florida and the Carolinas.
"Our company has a proud history of supporting education in the communities where our customers and employees live and work," said Dolan. "We recognize that a strong education system helps to improve the quality of life in local communities."
In addition to education grants, the company funds grants which focus on the environment and economic development. The Progress Energy Foundation is funded each year by the company's board of directors from shareholder funds.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit http://www.progress-energy.com/
Media contact: Progress Energy Florida 24-hour media line (866) 520-6397
Follow Progress Energy on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ProgressEnergy
Follow Progress Energy Florida on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyFlorida