Xcel Partners to Support Trade and Technical Career Pathways
This fall, Xcel Energy continued its legacy of supporting Minneapolis College with a $50,000 grant—more than double their contribution from last year.
“One of the Xcel Energy Foundation’s main focus areas is to support STEM career pathways for people of color and women,” said Sam Holsen, Manager, Social Investments & Foundation. “With 40 percent of the company’s workforce eligible to retire over the next 10 years, and to achieve our 100% carbon-free strategy by 2050, it’s imperative to invest in the next generation of STEM learners.”
The focus of the Xcel Energy Workforce Development Scholarship is to ensure an equitable, diverse, and highly skilled Minnesota workforce. Students from 32 programs are eligible for the $2,500 annual scholarships, which are matched by the State of Minnesota Workforce Development Scholarships.
“Working for Xcel Energy, I recognize the importance of serving our customers and the communities where we operate,” said Peter Mathieson, an Xcel Vice President and member of the Minneapolis College Foundation Board of Directors.
Public/private partnerships like this have a dramatic effect. There is a 40 percent increase in classroom success for students who receive a scholarship of $2,500 or more a year. They also increase a student’s ability to graduate by nearly 20 percent.
Mathieson said, “Supporting institutions like Minneapolis College helps make our community become more vibrant by helping to eliminate barriers many students face as they pursue their education.”
Although he may wear a suit most days, Mathieson does not shy away from getting his hands dirty. On September 10, Xcel volunteers brought their gardening gloves and sunscreen to help weed, spread mulch, and clean up branches and other debris on the Minneapolis College campus for their annual Day of Service.
Launched in 2010, Day of Service is an annual event where Xcel employees and other participants serve their communities through various volunteer projects. Suzanne Murphy, Senior Manager of Community Relations, said they like to partner with nonprofit organizations where Xcel employees already serve on boards. She and Mathieson led the crew working at the College.
“For many of the volunteers, this was their first exposure to the College,” said Mathieson. They learned more about the role the College plays in serving students in our community—and discovered what a beautiful campus the College has in the middle of downtown.”
Xcel Energy has supported Minneapolis College since 2004 through foundation board membership, volunteering, and financial contributions. Their lifetime giving to the College is just under half a million dollars.
Mathieson said, “The College provides a vital service for the Twin Cities community. We are thrilled to be partners.”