AMARILLO (KSMX)- The Xcel Energy Foundation has awarded almost $390,000 to 52 nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in its Texas-New Mexico service area that are focused on community-building initiatives. Among the 52 organizations that will receive awards are Clovis Community College and Eastern New Mexico University Foundation.
“This has been an extraordinary year of challenges in our communities, and we’re hopeful these grants can provide a shot in the arm to dozens of nonprofits across the area that have labored overtime to help our communities weather the storm and stay focused on long-term benefits,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas.
The bulk of the funding, a little more than $350,000, was given through the Foundation’s annual focus area grant process promoting education and economic sustainability. Additionally, close to $40,000 in additional gifts have been granted to these groups on top of the focus area grant awards to replenish operational budgets drained by the pandemic and the economic retraction it brought to area communities. Funding for the Xcel Energy Foundation grants is provided by shareholders of Xcel Energy.
Education grants boost systems and programs that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM. Groups receiving funding have developed programs that provide hands-on learning opportunities demonstrating the linkages between math and science, real-world applications, and future careers. Education grant recipients focus on increasing the number of students entering and completing post-secondary education in STEM disciplines and pursuing STEM careers.
Economic sustainability funding supports programs that promote workforce development, workforce readiness, specific job skills training, job placement and job creation. Additionally, the Xcel Energy Foundation is funding programs that provide case management and support services to low-income populations, assisting them in attaining and retaining employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency.
“It’s always an uphill climb for nonprofits to raise the funding they need to carry out programs vital to the health of our communities, and the pandemic has made that job even harder,” Hudson said. “After serving as president of the United Way, I know how important non-profits are to our local communities. We will eventually shake off the effects of COVID-19 but the need to boost education and improve the economic sustainability of our communities will be ongoing.”