Friday, April 23, 2010

FURTHER INFORMATION:            STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082, EDWARD TRICKEY (626) 914-8825, PAULA GREEN (626) 914-8873


Citrus College Receives $25,000 Grant from Sempra Energy Foundation

By Stacy Armstrong


Citrus College is one of 10 California community colleges chosen to receive a $25,000 grant from the Sempra Energy Foundation.


The Sempra Energy Foundation is the charitable giving arm of Sempra Energy, a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.   The foundation recently gave a total of $250,000 in grants to provide scholarship support for community college students seeking certification or training for green jobs.


 “Citrus College not only has a long-standing commitment to workforce development, but we have also become active in identifying green jobs and designing curricula that will prepare our students for careers in these emerging fields,” said Trustee Gary Woods, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees.   “We are extremely honored by this gift from the Sempra Energy Foundation and consider it a validation of the efforts we have invested into exploring these important issues.”


The other Sempra Energy grant recipients are Fullerton College, Glendale Community College, Imperial Valley Community College, Los Angeles Trade Tech, Riverside Community College, San Diego City Community College, Santa Ana Community College, Southwestern Community College, and Taft Community College.


“By awarding these grants, Sempra Energy acknowledges the significant role that community colleges play in educating the workforce and providing future employees with the knowledge and skills that are necessary in any field,” said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College.  “Many green jobs require rigorous academic preparation and technical skills development and Citrus College is committed to placing students on the proper academic paths towards careers in environmental sustainability.”


According to Kim Holland, Citrus College director of workforce development, the college has a vital working relationship with Sempra Energy leaders.


“Last year, we joined forces with Sempra to present the Greening of California’s Workforce Summit that united local educators and policy makers to address questions about preparing students for green jobs,” she said.  “More recently, we hosted a tour for representatives from Sempra who were interested in seeing the programs that we offer.”


Holland feels that this relationship was instrumental in Citrus College receiving one of the ten grants.


“A large segment of the Sempra Energy workforce is nearing retirement and the company will soon need people with the necessary skills to replace these outgoing workers,” Holland said.  “Sempra wanted to invest in colleges that were doing a good job at workforce development.  At the same time, they were impressed with our programs and felt that we could help produce potential employees.”


Citrus College will use the grant to provide scholarships for students who are working toward their associate degrees in programs such as Public Works, Heating & Air Conditioning, and Automotive Technology.


“The generosity of the Sempra Energy Foundation should be applauded,” Perri said.  “In addition to changing the lives of individual students by providing them with the financial means needed to pursue their academic goals, this gift will also transform California’s future by ensuring that important issues regarding environmental sustainability are addressed for years to come.”




FURTHER INFORMATION:            STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082, EDWARD TRICKEY (626) 914-8825, PAULA GREEN (626) 914-8873