The FirstEnergy Foundation has donated $15,000 to the Apprenticeship Maryland Program, a new initiative that promotes manufacturing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related career experience – with pay – for Maryland high school students.
Apprenticeship Maryland also provides businesses the opportunity to shape the next generation of skilled workers into top-performing employees. Research shows apprenticeship programs increase employee retention and reduce turnover. The FirstEnergy Foundation grant will be used to fund various apprenticeships for students in Frederick and Washington counties.
"Many companies, including ours, employ a maturing workforce and are having increasing difficulty finding skilled workers who understand the technical needs of our business, and who have the appropriate skills and training to hit the ground running," said James A. Sears, president of Maryland Operations for FirstEnergy. "Apprenticeship Maryland promises to make Maryland a better place to find and hire skilled workers, and we're pleased to provide this support."
"The Youth Apprenticeship Maryland pilot program is an important and exciting new avenue for investment in the skills and talent of the next generation of workers," said Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "I'm thrilled that FirstEnergy has taken that first investment step, and is contributing a $15,000 grant to the Youth Apprenticeship Maryland program. This generous donation will go a long way in helping area small businesses fund the hiring of youth apprentices. Engaging a new generation of workers and employers through the program drives economic development and helps to ensure that Maryland remains open for business."
The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by FirstEnergy Corp. and provides support to non-profit, tax-exempt health and human services agencies; educational organizations; cultural and arts programs and institutions; and civic groups in areas served by FirstEnergy's 10 electric operating companies and in areas where the company conducts business.