By Tracy Correa Lopez
In the spring, employees cleaned up local parks. In the summer, high school students got real-world job training. In the fall, volunteers packed lunches for schoolchildren in San Jose. And in the winter, linemen hung holiday decorations in downtown Chico.
PG&E and its employees put an emphasis on giving back and 2016 was no exception. And it happens year round.
Community members like Christine Hoffman say they’re appreciative. Hoffman, a mother of two U.S. Marines, is a member of the Central Valley Blue Star Moms, which recently teamed with PG&E employees in Fresno to send care packages to troops serving overseas.
“The support the Central Valley Blue Star Moms received from PG&E was so important,” Hoffman said. “We felt a huge weight being lifted from us, not only monetarily but emotionally. To know we had a group of dedicated men and women we could count on to be there until the last box had been shipped off was tremendous.”
- In April, PG&E employees joined other Earth Day volunteers at state parks throughout its service area providing the people power to clean up litter, plant trees and whatever else was needed. From Mount Diablo State Park in Contra Costa County to Millerton Lake State Recreation north of Fresno.
- In June, PG&E surprised Sacramento college student Oluchi Okwu with a Better Together STEM Scholarship. It’s a huge award, worth up to $20,000 a year and renewable for up to five years. And there were nine other students who were surprised with the same scholarship. It’s part of PG&E’s $1 million commitment to these local students and their educational dreams.
- A half-dozen students learned this year that were chosen to go to Kenya as part of PG&E’s Solar Suitcase program to help deliver solar suitcases that they helped build to underserved communities. They included Evelyn Ramirez and Isaiah Lucero who found out in a surprise announcement at Bakersfield’s North High School in November. The 12-day trip with the nonprofit We Share Solar will take place in February.
- PG&E celebrated 30 years of participation as the first corporate sponsor of the San Francisco LBGT Pride Celebration and Parade. Members of the company’s LGBT employee resource group — PrideNetwork — also took time to reflect on the group’s humble beginnings.
- Students from PG&E’s PowerPathway program training program also celebrated another graduation in September. Shimia Buie, a carpenter and single mother from Oakland, was one of 24 students who completed the two-month PowerPathway/Cypress Mandela training program that focused on gas operations. The program helps train the future generation of utility workers for jobs at PG&E and the industry.
- And, PG&E’s Jeff Gomes proved he can successfully pull double duty balancing his career as a lineman with being volunteer firefighter. His commitment to helping fight medical emergencies, fires, traffic collisions and rescues was rewarded in June. Gomes was given a Jefferson Award for Public Service in Washington, D.C. for his 25 years and roughly 15,000 hours of service to the Orland Volunteer Fire Department in Glenn County.
Email Tracy Correa Lopez at Tracy.Correa@pge.com.