GAHANNA, Ohio, Nov. 4, 2010 -- AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), announced today award recipients of its $500,000 workforce development program grants. The grants were designed to help low-income Ohioans prepare for jobs in an evolving economy. AEP Ohio’s program is part of the company’s “Partnership with Ohio” plan, a $15 million three-year (2009-2011) commitment to health, hunger and housing programs serving Ohioans in need.
AEP Ohio’s goal is to help establish workforce development programs to prepare Ohioans for jobs in this struggling economy,” said Joe Hamrock, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “Today’s announcement takes a meaningful step to developing the programs that will start to accomplish that goal.”
AEP Ohio is providing 13 POWER (Putting Ohioans to Work for Economic Recovery) grants of up to $100,000 to boards of County Commissions to fund workforce development proposals targeting low-income Ohioans within the AEP Ohio service territory. Low-income Ohioans include those who are at or below 200 percent of the 2009-2010 Federal Poverty Guidelines. The grants are being awarded to new programs that seek to prepare future employees for opportunities in Ohio’s targeted industries identified by the Ohio Department of Development, and for retraining displaced workers to take advantage of new career opportunities.
AEP Ohio received 22 applications for the POWER grants. There are 18 counties represented in the 13 separate programs being awarded funds. Part of the requirement to apply for the grants was to collaborate with other local and regional organizations to obtain matching funds for at least 25 percent of the proposed project’s budget. In addition to the grant amounts received from AEP Ohio, the chosen programs have obtained over $618,000 in matching funds and contributions from private businesses and other governmental programs.
All proposals were reviewed, evaluated and scored by a panel including representatives of leading institutions of higher learning in the State of Ohio. Representatives of AEP Ohio did not participate in proposal evaluations.
The counties being awarded POWER grants are:
Athens and Perry Counties
Fairfield, Pickaway and Ross Counties
Monroe, Morgan and Noble Counties
“ AEP Ohio wanted to work with other businesses and government to help ease the burden Ohio families face,” said Joseph Hamrock, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “This initiative will help to prepare over 1400 Ohioans for the workforce moving forward.”
AEP Ohio’s Partnership With Ohio (PWO) Fund is a three-year $15 million shareholder-funded program that provides additional help in the areas of health, hunger and housing to Ohio’s needy families. The programs are designed to include families with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, a segment of the population that often does not qualify for state and federal aid.
Since 2009, the company has provided through the PWO Fund over $7.5 million to support regional food banks and United Way agencies, workforce development initiatives, direct bill payment assistance and weatherization efforts for low-income customers. AEP Ohio also has used the funding to support the company’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program, which is designed to help low-income customers struggling to pay their electric bill. Other PWO contributions will be announced throughout 2010.
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
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NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
AEP Ohio Corporate Communications