(PHILADELPHIA, PA) Nov. 14, 2012 – More than 60 underserved Philadelphia teens have secured green jobs and leadership opportunities – gaining conservation skills, environmental education and career training – through a grant to the Student Conservation Association (SCA) from the Exelon Foundation. The Foundation is funded by Exelon Corporation, the parent company of PECO, the Philadelphia region’s electric and gas utility.
The employment program is part of a $150,000 Exelon Foundation grant and builds on a partnership launched last year in support of SCA’s nationwide urban conservation programs. SCA recruits teens from local schools, youth-serving organizations and religious institutions before leading participants on trail building and ecological restoration projects in area parks. The students earn a paycheck while gaining the environmental knowledge, skills and training required to successfully pursue conservation careers.
“With youth unemployment running at near record levels, on-the-job experience can provide a valuable competitive edge,” said SCA Philadelphia Program Coordinator Corrin Omowunmi. “SCA is pleased to extend our partnership with the Exelon Foundation, provide new opportunities for local youth, and help protect the environment of this great city.”
The Exelon Foundation’s support has enabled more than 40 Philadelphia youth from underrepresented or low-income backgrounds to work in outdoor conservation jobs. More than 20 additional local teens are participating in year-round, service-learning outdoor programs.
“These young people are talented and engaged, and exemplify the Exelon Foundation’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Exelon Foundation President Steve Solomon. “The Foundation is pleased to continue its work with SCA to encourage and build the next generation of conservation leaders.”
Students in the jobs program have worked at Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge and Wissahickon Valley Green Park, among other locations.
Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and 494,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 82.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 38.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2011. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations.
The Exelon Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization funded solely by Exelon Corporation, an energy company, through shareholder dollars. The Foundation supports non-profit, tax-exempt organizations primarily within the service territories of Exelon and its operating companies. The mission of the Foundation is to encourage respect for the environment and strengthen the social and economic fabric of the community by supporting programs in the areas of environment and conservation, innovative math and science education, and diversity and tolerance.
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the only national organization that develops tomorrow’s conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with conservation service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA’s hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop new generations of conservation leaders, to inspire lifelong stewardship, and to save the planet. SCA is a non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C. and maintains regional offices in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Seattle, WA, and Washington, D.C.