Powering More Vibrant Communities through CollaborationApril 26, 2016
At its simplest, ComEd’s mandate is to provide affordable, reliable power to the people of Northern Illinois. At its heart, though, this mission is about serving our four million customers and the neighborhoods where they live by powering their lives.
Our commitment to serving our communities runs deep and broad. We are literally rooted in northern Illinois, a local company that grows and does well only when our communities do well. And our employees live, work, and play in the communities we serve.
We’re constantly engaging with and strengthening our neighborhoods, whether by:
- Providing opportunities for students to explore educational and employment opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math);
- Developing job training programs to increase the pool of qualified minority job candidates in construction-related fields in partnership with other leading companies as well as social service organizations.
- Constructing a new ComEd Chicago Training Center on the South Side of Chicago, where we’re also developing a new program in partnership with After School Matters to expose high school juniors and seniors to the skills they need as an entree to our industry.
- Recruiting conservation-minded high school and college students for our Youth Ambassador Program;
- Creating the country’s first energy efficiency program led by people with developmental disabilities;
- Restoring native prairie habitats to preserve and protect our environment; or
- Offering a diverse set of services to help underprivileged customers pay their electric bills and access educational and employment opportunities.
ComEd collaborates with many community partners throughout our region with a strong focus on education and workforce development, sustainability, and supporting non-profit organizations and events that make our communities strong. Here is just a snapshot of how we are powering possibility in our communities.
Educating our Communities
As one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, ComEd sees daily the importance of the qualified engineers and technicians who keep our lights on, our devices energized and our economy powered.
The boys and girls in our communities today are our workforce of the future. So we’re focused in particular on getting young people – especially girls — excited about STEM education.
National data shows a real deficit in the number of women entering these fields. Women represent nearly 53% of college graduates, but only 40% of the STEM majors. Women also make up over half of the U.S. workforce, but hold only around a quarter of the STEM jobs.
ComEd is dedicated to changing this trend.
Each year, ComEd holds an Icebox Derby, in which 30 girls aged 13-18 compete to turn an old refrigerator into a racecar. Working with community partners such as Girls4Science, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, the Chicago Urban League and Operation PUSH, ComEd is educating and inspiring young students about the possibilities of a career in STEM.
Conserving our Natural Resources
From our best-in-industry Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency programs to our Youth Ambassador Program, ComEd oversees a number of initiatives to help educate our customers about energy usage and efficiency conservation.
We are also working to conserve land and resources throughout our region. Recently, ComEd and Openlands – a Chicago nonprofit focused on land and water conservation – announced $200,000 in Green Region grants to 23 municipalities throughout northern Illinois to support continuing efforts to conserve and protect open spaces. Now in the third year of the program in Illinois, this is one of many conservation programs ComEd supports.
Supporting the Organizations that Make Our Communities Strong
Beyond helping customers identify new ways to maximize energy usage and realize cost savings, ComEd also recognizes that some customers have different needs. Through our ComEd CARE programs, we offer a range of financial assistance programs to help qualified customers pay their electric bills, with a special focus on members of the armed forces, non-profit organizations, and those facing financial hardship. It is just one of the many ways we strive to go above and beyond for our community.
From financial assistance programs to community traditions, such as the festive holiday events like ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo and Holiday Magic at the Brookfield Zoo, ComEd is committed to supporting important initiatives and organizations that contribute to the vitality of our local communities.
ComEd is proud to be supporting these efforts and making a difference in our communities. In the months ahead, we look forward to sharing more about the work we support, raising awareness of the great efforts underway to make our communities strong.