June 24, 2015
PORTLAND, Ore. — The PGE Foundation — Portland General Electric’s corporate foundation — awarded 27 grants totaling $307,500 in the second quarter of 2015 to nonprofits across Oregon focused on education, arts education, and meeting basic needs of families. More than 60 percent of the Foundation grants were awarded to education, including arts education and CTE-STEM programs that prepare students for college and rewarding careers.
The Salem Schools Foundation received $25,000 to support construction of its new Career Technical Education Center, where students will be prepared for high-skill, high-wage careers in technical fields. Friends of Saturday Academy received $10,000 to support summer tutoring and STEM and arts classes for disadvantaged students statewide, while College Possible received funds to provide coaching and support to help low-income Portland students successfully attend college. Grants also supported Friends of the Children, Girls Inc., need-based college scholarships in STEM fields, and other programs.
“The PGE Foundation is a leader in supporting STEM and career technical education, which is critical to the success of our young people and our economy,” said Chuck Lee, president of Mountain West Career Technical Institute and project manager for the Salem-Keizer Career Technical Education Center.
In arts education, $25,000 was awarded to The Right Brain Initiative, an arts-integrated learning program serving more than 25,000 students in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties. Grants also went to Young Audiences of Oregon, the High Desert Museum in Central Oregon, and several other arts education organizations, serving areas outside the Portland metropolitan area.
Thirty percent of the foundation’s awards went to nonprofits that support meeting families’ basic needs, including programs focused on prevention. Grants for two programs, Growing Gardens and Oregon Food Bank, will help low-income people learn to grow their own food and prepare meals.
“The majority of our grants are focused on helping middle and high school students prepare for their future careers,” said Kregg Arntson, executive director of the PGE Foundation. “That’s why we’re investing in educational and workforce programs with an emphasis on career technical education, science, technology, engineering, arts and math. We believe these hands-on learning opportunities are critical to helping young people develop the technical, teamwork and problem-solving skills they’ll need to be successful in the workplace.”The PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, was established in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a permanent endowment. The Foundation’s giving is separate from the corporate giving of PGE. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $18 million to help improve the quality of life for all Oregonians by supporting statewide programs and services that encourage safe and healthy families, provide educational opportunities and encourage the arts and cultural diversity. Gwyneth Gamble Booth is chair, Dave Robertson is president and Kregg Arntson is executive director.