College students participating in an engineering internship program enjoy the view from Pepco Holdings' offices in D.C. (Courtesy of Pepco)
**FILE** College students participating in an engineering internship program enjoy the view from Pepco Holdings' offices in D.C. (Courtesy of Pepco)

Pepco has provided $650,000 to five D.C.-area community colleges and historically Black colleges and universities to support scholarships, teacher training and curriculum development with the goal of educating the future energy workforce.

The utility company provided $400,000 in grants to Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia, as well as $250,000 to UDC’s community college, Montgomery College and Prince George’s Community College.

The funding comes from Pepco’s Community Scholars Program, which gives gap funding for limited- and moderate-income residents seeking degrees in such fields as engineering, mathematics, urban sustainability, business management and communications.

“We hope this funding helps open the door to educational opportunities that all too often are just a dream for many young people within our communities,” Rodney Oddoye, Pepco Holdings senior vice president of governmental, external and regulatory affairs, said in a statement. “Through our partnerships with local community colleges, HBCUs and workforce development programs like the DC Infrastructure Academy, we are not only expanding the possibilities of our youth, we are building the talent pool for the future energy force.”

The HBCU and community college grants add to the initiatives of Pepco and its parent company, Exelon, that support education and workforce development.

Examples of initiatives supported by Pepco and Exelon are its Pepco Utility Training program at the DC Infrastructure Academy in Ward 8, where more than 120 graduates get opportunities to work at Pepco or the contractor of their choice, and Exelon’s STEM Leadership Academy is designed to encourage young women in the fields of science technology, engineering, and math.

Pepco said it donated more than $3.2 million in grants last year to nonprofits for programs in the District and Maryland.

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