ST. LOUIS, Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Corporation has announced a $2.5 million multifaceted initiative to support educational partnerships, economic development and energy assistance to communities in St. Louis and North St. Louis County. The new program, part of the company's Ameren Cares initiative serving communities throughout its service territory in Missouri and Illinois, supports a variety of organizations and programs, including those related to child well-being, education and job readiness.
The program aligns with a number of signature priorities identified by the Ferguson Commission, a task force appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, and was developed based on input from Ameren co-workers and other community leaders.
"Providing hope, opportunity and resources to those in need will positively impact the future of many families and communities, and will create a stronger St. Louis and region," said Ameren Corporation chairman and CEO Warner Baxter, who grew up and attended school in North St. Louis County. "Our comprehensive program combines educational opportunities at all stages of life ‒ from early childhood through college ‒ with extensive job readiness programs, internships and mentoring. These programs, bolstered by support for energy assistance, will make a meaningful, long-term difference in our region."
All funding and support will focus on three essential areas: education, economic development and energy assistance. The program includes expanded or continued funding of commitments to organizations and initiatives benefiting underserved areas.
"Creating a better St. Louis depends on collaboration among businesses, governments, not-for-profit and community organizations," said Rich McClure, who co-chaired the Ferguson Commission with Rev. Starsky Wilson. "The Commission's calls to action provide a path to racial equity. Our region welcomes the support of programs such as Ameren Cares with a focus on the policies and programs placing youth at the center and creating opportunities to thrive. I am very grateful to Ameren and other major employers in our region as we work to build a fairer, stronger St. Louis."
Ameren's contributions over a multiyear period are in the following areas:
$1 Million for Education
This money will support:
- University of Missouri-St. Louis, to help students transition to post-secondary institutions and for scholarships to underrepresented students who have a preference for careers in science, technology, engineering and math. ($500,000)
- Wyman Center, to support Wyman Career Connection, a program aimed at tutoring, mentoring and support services in North St. Louis County schools. This "school-to-career" pipeline serves students from middle school through college and will involve volunteer mentoring opportunities for Ameren co-workers and retirees serving as positive role models for teenagers. ($375,000)
- Child Care Aware, an early childhood training/coaching program to equip child care and early childhood educators to better support the emotional development and social skills of young children and those who have been exposed to trauma or toxic stress. ($100,000)
$500,000 for Economic Development
This money will support:
- Urban League, for its "Save Our Sons" program to provide African-American men with educational support for marketable employment skills to help them reach their full potential. ($250,000)
- Concordance Academy of Leadership,an expansion of the existing nonprofit Project COPE, to provide mentoring, job training, housing assistance and personal development for previously incarcerated persons so they can become productive community members. ($150,000)
- Florissant Valley Community College, for its Pre-Apprentice Training Program, which prepares participants for the role of Apprentice Line Worker to meet the needs of the energy industry. ($100,000)
$1 Million+ for Energy Assistance
This money will support the Dollar More Assistance Program, to help low-income families with utility expenses, as well as for Heatupstlouis.org and Cooldownstlouis.org, for programs such as "Rise and Shine," "Winterizing Utility Forum" and "Cool Down Caravan for Seniors."
"Ameren has been part of the fabric of the communities we serve for more than 100 years," Baxter said. "We are committed to partnering with other businesses, governments and not-for-profit community organizations to build a stronger, healthier and more inclusive St. Louis."
Each year within the Ameren Illinois and Missouri service areas, millions of dollars are donated from the Ameren Corporation Charitable Trust to support programs in Arts & Culture, Civic & Community, Environment, Health & Human Services, and Youth & Education. Contributions to the Ameren Corporate Charitable Trust come entirely from corporate earnings, and are not charged to customers.
Through the Ameren Corporate Charitable Trust and company funds, monetary or in-kind donations over the past year exceeded $7 million and provided support for 1,400 community organizations and youth and elderly services.
In addition to corporate contributions, Ameren has long been a leading supporter of United Way campaigns in Illinois and Missouri. Ameren is traditionally one of the region's top corporations in terms of total contributions and the percentage of employees who give to the United Way. Ameren employees also give generously of their time, and have completed approximately 350 volunteer community projects from 2012 to 2014.
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric and natural gas delivery service while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of 10,200 megawatts, and natural gas delivery service. Ameren Transmission of Illinois develops regional electric transmission projects. Follow the company on Twitter @AmerenCorp. For more information, visit Ameren.com.
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SOURCE Ameren Corporation