CHICAGO — Exelon (Nasdaq: EXC) has signed the White House Talent Pipeline Challenge. The challenge is a nationwide call to action for employers, education and training providers, state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments and philanthropic organizations to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development in the critical infrastructure sectors of broadband, construction and electrification.
The pledge is the latest effort by Exelon to build on its industry-leading workforce development programs. These programs have for many years contributed to economic growth in underserved communities and launched rewarding careers for people who face systemic barriers that keep opportunity out of reach. This year, Exelon is on track to invest nearly $14 million to support more than 75 different workforce development programs across the company’s six utilities, reaching more than 5,000 participants.
Exelon’s workforce development program strategy is built on four pillars: STEM awareness and education, barrier reduction/elimination, opportunity creation and partnerships, and thought leadership.
“As the largest energy utility company in the United States, Exelon has a responsibility to be a leading driver of family-sustaining career opportunities that are accessible to people in underserved and under-resourced communities," said Robert Matthews, Exelon chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer. “Bringing our resources to bear in this effort is both a business and moral imperative for Exelon. We commend the Biden-Harris administration for challenging us to do more, and for signaling a national commitment to leveraging the power of partnerships in proven strategies for sustainable, equitable economic growth.”
Commitments by Exelon and other Talent Pipeline Challenge organizations will complement the Federal government’s investment in workforce development. In addition, challenge commitments will help ensure there are trained workers who are ready to meet the demands of implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. These workers will play a vital role in the country’s transition from “a historic economic recovery to stable and steady growth that works for working people,” White House officials said in their challenge announcement.
A stronger talent pipeline starts with stronger partnerships. The challenge encourages employers to partner with and hire skilled workers from at least one training provider in each region in which the employer has operations. The White House said training partnerships will build on pathways to quality jobs for women, people of color and underserved workers—including those from rural and Tribal communities and communities with persistent poverty.
“Exelon is a leader in workforce development and an invaluable thought partner to Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) as we work to encourage more organizations to think equitably about building the energy workforce of the future,” said Missy Henriksen, executive director of CEWD. “We’re grateful to see them continue to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring a diverse energy workforce by signing on to this important challenge.”
Last year, CEWD honored Exelon with the Chairman's Award, which recognizes a company for excellence in workforce development leadership. The organization also honored two Exelon companies with a Community Partner Award: Delmarva Power, for partnerships established as part of its Path to Success Program; and ComEd, for its community partnerships with Chicago Builds and CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy.
More than 14,000 people have completed one of Exelon’s workforce development and job training programs since 2019, and nearly 1,300 people have been hired in family-sustaining careers. The majority of those who were offered jobs internally or externally were work-ready adult graduates of one of Exelon's infrastructure academies.
Middle school, high school and college students also benefit from workforce development programs offered by Exelon and the Exelon Foundation. The company’s flagship educational program, the Exelon Foundation STEM Leadership Academy, gives young women in high school hands-on experience in STEM, energy and sustainability, with a goal of introducing the next generation of women to energy careers. More than 800 students have participated since the program launched in 2018 and 16 participants have received four-year full-ride college scholarships from the Exelon Foundation.
Exelon is in the early stages of discussions with the Biden-Harris administration to determine how commitments under the Talent Pipeline Challenge could augment our programs.
More information about Exelon’s workforce development programs is available at exeloncorp.com.
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