Energy Innovation Center Institute receives $85,000 grant

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Electric distribution company FirstEnergy Corp. recently awarded Pittsburgh-based Energy Innovation Center Institute (EICI), a nonprofit organization providing skills-based work force training for people from disadvantaged communities, veterans and others with barriers to workforce entry, a $85,000 grant.

Funding will be used to supplement curriculum development, training stipends, training equipment, and computers.

“We are excited to have FirstEnergy join our growing group of utility and infrastructure employer partners,” Rich DiClaudio, EICI president and CEO, said. “FirstEnergy’s grant provides meaningful support to advance the programming of the Infrastructure Academy and solve the growing skills-based human capital problem in the industry. FirstEnergy and our other utility partners are committed to taking tangible steps to ensure a well-trained, effective, safe and diverse workforce reflective of the service areas in which they operate.”

EICI’s Infrastructure Academy recruits and trains candidates for utility careers. The curriculum includes training and testing on safety, knot tying and using the tools of the trade; strategies to navigate the highly competitive climbing programs necessary to be admitted into apprenticeships; and life skills such as effective communication and conflict resolution.

Training facilities are located in southwestern and eastern Pennsylvania.

Approximately 3,700 EICI graduates are employed, nearly 90 percent of which are people of color.