By Marlin Ezell
This year, PG&E’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) collectively gave more than $300,000 in scholarships to 163 students throughout the company’s service area.
The total was a new record for the groups, surpassing last year’s $289,000 in scholarships.
PG&E has 10 recognized ERGs that share common interests and help promote the company’s business objectives and diversity goals. More than 3,000 employees are members of the groups, which also promote teamwork and help foster local community relationships and volunteerism.
“These well-deserving students reflect the excellence and diversity of the communities we serve,” said Bill Harper, PG&E’s vice president of talent management and chief diversity officer. “Awarding these scholarships is an investment in helping high-performing young people continue their education and eventually become successful business and community leaders.”
The Employee Resource Groups include: Pride Network (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), Women’s Network, Samahan (Filipino employees), InspirAsian, Black Employees Association, Latino, Access Network (employees with disabilities), Legacy (tenured employees), NuEnergy ERG (new employees) and Veterans.
This year marked the first year of new scholarship programs for three of the groups. Access Network awarded $10,000 in scholarships to five students, Legacy gave $8,000 in scholarships to four students and NuEnergy handed out $12,000 in scholarships to three students.
“Many students will be the first in their family to attend college and all exhibit generosity in giving back to their communities,” said Emily Nichols, Access Network’s president.
Among the scholarship recipients were Matt Kleinbergand whose $4,000 scholarship from NuEnergy will help him continue studying electrical engineering at California State University, Fresno. And Edith Cortez, a biochemistry major at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, received a $2,000 scholarship from Access Network.
“We wanted to do something different by targeting second- and third-year college students that demonstrated knowledge and interest in the energy industry,” said Theresa LoPiccolo, NuEnergy president. “We made a big difference in the lives of each of these talented individuals by not only supporting them financially, but also by giving them the opportunity to network with our summer interns and learn about some of the major issues PG&E is facing.”
Since 1989, PG&E Employee Resource Groups have provided more than $2 million to hundreds of recipients. Most of the funds are raised through individual employee and retiree donations through Campaign for the Community, the utility’s annual giving campaign.
Earlier this year, PG&E awarded $1 million to help students with tuition as part of its inaugural Bright Minds scholarship program.
Students interested in applying for future PG&E ERG scholarship programs can visit www.pge.com/scholarships for more information.
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