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SUPPORTING STRONG COMMUNITIES

Being a responsible corporate citizen goes beyond the fence line of our property to the heart of the communities in which we operate or that we serve. Our investments in our communities range from the thousands of hours our employees volunteer locally to corporate financial support for important community programs and initiatives. The need for our support is greater than ever as many areas continue to struggle.

Our plan to close some of our coal-fired units will adversely affect local economies. Power plants often provide the highest-paying jobs where they are located and are a source of vital tax dollars that help pay for schools, roads, and other community needs. The plants also support local businesses. The loss of jobs, taxes and local employee income related to plant retirements is going to hurt communities. When the retirements are complete, 600 jobs will be gone. The loss to our local communities will include approximately $30 million in lost tax revenue and about $40 million in lost wages.

We track the economic value of our employees’ volunteerism, which was approximately $1.9 million in 2011 (using a value of volunteer time of $21.36 per hour, based upon the Independent Sector estimated value). Our employees volunteered 88,323 hours in 2011 compared with more than 57,000 hours in 2010, resulting in 839 $150 AEP Connects grants. These grants benefit the organizations of employees’ choosing to which they have volunteered 40 or more hours during the year. During the past 10 years, the AEP Connects grant program provided more than $1 million to schools and eligible nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, this program was discontinued in 2012.

Corporate philanthropy is also important because it helps enhance quality of life, advances education and other worthy endeavors and enriches communities. In 2011, AEP and the AEP Foundation donated more than $37 million to support more than 3,000 community organizations. This was a significant increase over 2010 contributions of $23.6 million due in large part to 2012 donations made at year-end 2011.

In Oklahoma, the AEP Foundation donated $65,000 to the Foundation for Tulsa Schools and Tulsa Public Schools to help fund the city’s Public Schools’ Community Schools Initiative. It will support two literacy programs including curriculum development and classroom reading instruction, as well as a tutoring program that matches college students with students in community schools.

AEP formed a new Economic and Business Development (E&BD) group to work with local communities to attract and retain businesses, because we have as much at stake as they do. This group is working through our operating companies, where they are connected locally. Recently, the E&BD group assembled a task force to work with a number of natural gas companies investing in AEP’s service area to take advantage of shale gas reserves. The ability to attract new business and enable economic growth is enhanced by our expertise, and the communities we serve welcome it. 

 

  • For more data, please see Economic Indicator 8 of AEP’s Global Reporting Initiative G3 questionnaire.
  • For more data, please see the Society (SO) section of AEP’s Global Reporting Initiative G3 questionnaire.

PelotoniaAEP supports employee involvement throughout our 11-state system, such as these riders in the 2011 Pelotonia bicycle ride to raise funds to fight cancer.

Number of hours employees