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AEP Foundation contributes $300,000 to TSTC program in Abilene

January 24, 2024

The AEP Foundation has contributed $300,000 to The TSTC Foundation to provide scholarships for members of underserved and underrepresented populations to participate in Texas State Technical College’s new Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program in Abilene.

TSTC’s Abilene campus will offer an Associate of Applied Science degree and a certificate of completion in the program beginning with the fall 2024 semester.

AEP Texas Regional External Affairs Manager Greg Blair recently presented an enlarged version of the contribution check on behalf of the AEP Foundation. Blair noted that American Electric Power (AEP), the parent company of AEP Texas, created the AEP Foundation in 2005 to provide a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multiyear commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP's 11-state service area.

The AEP Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math; by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger; and by championing social and racial justice. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, promote health care and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.

"This AEP Foundation contribution is an investment in all of our futures." Blair said. "We are helping ensure that there will be qualified line crews available to help provide continued electric reliability. That's good for AEP Texas, electricity consumers and the communities we serve."

Andy Weaver, provost of TSTC’s West Texas campuses, was pleased that AEP made the financial commitment to the Abilene campus’s newest program.

"This generous gift from AEP will help our Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology students in many ways," he said. "I look forward to continuing the relationship with AEP as we begin the Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program and grow it into the program of choice for the West Texas region."

Brandon Scott Thomas, a senior field development officer for The TSTC Foundation, agreed.

"This incredible contribution from AEP will help The TSTC Foundation bridge the financial gap for students in a way that will create future success for them and their families," he said. "We are so grateful for AEP's generosity and the generational changes it can make possible for many of our students."

Eric Carithers, statewide department chair of TSTC’s lineworker program, said the AEP Foundation’s contribution is a good way to begin the program in West Texas.

"AEP has been a supporter of TSTC's Electrical Lineworker and Management Technology program across the state for many years and is an active member of our statewide advisory board committee," he said. "The AEP funds will be utilized for scholarships and required toolkits and safety supplies for underserved young people. This opportunity opens the door for many underserved students to complete a higher education training program when they may have thought that a higher education program was out of reach financially."

AEP is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to its customers. AEP maintains the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states.

AEP Texas serves more than 1 million electric meters in the deregulated Texas marketplace. As an energy delivery (wires) company, AEP Texas delivers electricity safely and reliably to homes, businesses and industry across its nearly 100,000-square-mile service territory in South and West Texas. AEP Texas also builds new power lines, restores service following outages, and records electric usage using advanced meters for retail electric providers (REPs) throughout its service territory. The company also connects or disconnects service upon the orders of the REPs.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.


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