Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and Yankee Gas have announced new community partnerships that will support middle school literacy programs in Waterbury and Danbury, and professional development for Latino engineers across the state.
With $26,000 in grant money, the companies will support ASPIRA of Connecticut, Inc. and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) of Connecticut. Company leaders announced the partnerships during a summer reading and writing program at the River-Baldwin Recreation Center in Waterbury.
ASPIRA of Connecticut is part of a national organization dedicated to developing the educational and leadership capacity of Latino youth. Its programs encourage Latino students to stay in school and succeed in the educational arena, develop their leadership skills and serve their community. Locally, 80 percent of the students who graduate from ASPIRA's youth development program enroll in college.
SHPE is the state's leading social-technical organization for Latino engineering professionals. The group works to enhance and achieve the potential of Latinos in the study of science, technology, engineering and math.
"As a major employer in Connecticut, we are here to support our communities and the organizations that serve to educate and develop the young people who are our workforce of tomorrow," said Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer at CL&P. "These two partnerships will serve that mission well."
Rod Powell, president and chief operating officer of Yankee Gas, said, "These partnerships will allow us to inspire young students through positive peer support, and to work directly with older students interested in pursuing careers as engineers. We're proud to be involved with both groups and hope to foster a stronger relationship between them as a result."
A total of $20,000 will fund ASPIRA's after school literacy programs from June 2010- 2011. In Waterbury, the programs will be held at two locations - the North End and West Side elementary schools. In Danbury, the programs will be held at Rogers Park Middle School.
"The value of these programs extends far beyond the dollar value," said Vincent Siberon, executive director ASPIRA of Connecticut. "This partnership is about a human experience that can hopefully be developed into a long term partnership. Our kids need to know that you don't just pay electric and gas bills. You can have careers at these companies, too."
The remaining $6,000 in grant funding will help the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers reach out to community colleges, update their website, support their high school mentoring programs, develop a speaker series geared toward professionals and college chapters in Connecticut and conduct a one-day professional development conference.