ATLANTA – Oct. 27, 2021 – The Atlanta Gas Light Foundation is partnering with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) to help dual enrollment and traditional students throughout Georgia develop the technical skills they need to succeed in the workforce.
The Atlanta Gas Light Foundation presented a $150,000 gift to TCSG Tuesday afternoon. The funding will provide equipment to and facility upgrades for TCSG’s HVAC and Pipefitting programs, as well as address the critical need for gap-funding for TCSG students.
In Fall of 2018, approximately 5,700 students were released from their TCSG program due to an inability to pay tuition or fees owed to their respective college. Of those 5,700 students, nearly 1,200 of them were released owing less than $500. The average amount owed was $250. Once a student has been released from their program of study, they are unenrolled from the college and forced to postpone, and sometimes quit, the pursuit of their degree, diploma, or certificate. This harsh reality leaves more Georgians without higher education and potential gainful employment opportunities.
“We pride ourselves on empowering students with the tools they need to compete in the global economy, but too often, they are forced to leave us before they can complete their studies due to financial circumstances beyond their control,” said Greg Dozier, commissioner of the Technical College Systems of Georgia. “This donation from the Atlanta Gas Light Foundation will strengthen our ability to give our students the real-world skills and knowledge that will prepare them to succeed in the workforce.”
This gift is part of an ongoing charitable initiative sponsored by Atlanta Gas Light’s parent company, Southern Company Gas. Through the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation, the business is donating $700,000 to organizations across Southern Company Gas’ service territory that improve equity and social justice through education, economic development, community support and industry partnerships.
“We are proud to support and inspire young men and women seeking to develop new skills and begin their careers by partnering with the Technical College Systems of Georgia,” said Pedro Cherry, president and CEO of Atlanta Gas Light. “Ensuring everyone has the financial aid they need to complete their education is an important part of the foundation of a fair and equitable society, which is why we are making this donation – to help give our youth a fair shot at success.”
As part of this effort, Atlanta Gas Light has also committed to participating on TCSG boards at both the state and regional levels.
“We are committed to a productive partnership with the Technical College Systems of Georgia,” said Tiffany Callaway-Ferrell, vice president of operations for Atlanta Gas Light. “This is about more than just dollars and cents; it’s about engaging our people to help demonstrate the possibilities for TCSG students and provide encouragement as they seek to start their careers. Together, we will help ensure that graduates entering the workforce don’t just have a degree to hang on their wall, but the confidence and technical skills necessary to succeed.”
TCSG has more than 600 programs at 22 colleges in Georgia. Students can take classes at 88 campuses across the state. In the 2021 academic year, nearly 35,000 students graduated from programs throughout the system.
For more information on the Southern Company Gas’ family of companies’ commitment to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion across Georgia and beyond, visit scgcares.org.
About Atlanta Gas Light
Atlanta Gas Light is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Atlanta Gas Light provides natural gas delivery service to approximately 1.7 million customers in Georgia. In operation since 1856, the company is one of the oldest corporations in the state. For more information, visit atlantagaslight.com.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.3 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and approximately 666,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
About Technical College System of Georgia
The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in 600 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED® testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its individual colleges, who work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit www.TCSG.edu.
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