The Essential Foundation and Peoples Donate $155,000 to Support Social Equity in Southwestern Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PITTSBURGH, PA (April 5, 2021) – On March 16, 2020, Peoples joined Aqua as part of the Essential Utilities family of companies, which created one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater, and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states. Both Aqua and Peoples are strongly committed to supporting the communities they serve. The Essential Foundation was created to support the companies’ charitable giving efforts.
One of the focus areas of The Essential Foundation is Diversity and Inclusion. Peoples proudly donated $155,000 through The Essential Foundation to support the vital work and programming of Community Forge, Riverside Center for Innovation, Urban League and Vibrant Pittsburgh. These organizations address racial injustice, structural inequity and economic disparity.
“We are honored to stand with these community leaders and organizations fighting for racial justice and equity,” said Mike Huwar, President of Peoples. “We are committed to advancing sustainable economic growth and financial opportunity for all. Peoples is dedicated to helping further meaningful change for our communities.”
“Community Forge is dedicated to being part of building a truly equitable economy for our region,” said Mike Skirpan, Executive Director of Community Forge. “For us, that starts with making sure that entrepreneurs, especially those who often receive the least resources, are offered an environment of access: access to a professional network, access to experts, access to space, and access to financial opportunities. Working with Peoples Gas, Community Forge will be able to expand some of our limited opportunities for business support services to more entrepreneurs and small businesses, which are in even greater need than we’ve seen in recent years. We’re excited about working with Peoples as they join us in making sure our local small business community receives the support and exposure they deserve.”
"Riverside Center for Innovation is honored to develop and build a lasting relationship with Peoples,” Juan Garrett, Executive Director. “We are honored that Peoples made an investment into RCI, as we continue our efforts to build the infrastructure and initiatives for an equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in western Pennsylvania. This partnership is a great step in moving the region to a global economy that will include disadvantaged and underrepresented entrepreneurs and call our region home.”
“Peoples Natural Gas continues to demonstrate an understanding and commitment to the work of social justice and racial equity through their presenting sponsorship of the Ronald H. Brown Leadership Awards and their year-round support of critical Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh programs and service,” said Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh President & CEO Esther L. Bush.
“Vibrant Pittsburgh is excited to continue our partnership with Peoples. As a community pillar member, Peoples has made a clear commitment towards strengthening their culture of inclusion in the workplace. This investment also supports a larger effort to become a more welcoming and equitable region for all,” said Sabrina Saunders Mosby, President and Chief Executive Officer.
To learn more about Peoples’ commitment to our communities or to submit a sponsorship request for The Essential Foundation, visit www.peoples-gas.com/sponsorships.
About Peoples: Peoples, an Essential Utilities company, provides natural gas service to approximately 750,000 homes and businesses in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. Peoples is committed to its customers, its employees, the environment, and to the regions it serves. For more information, visit peoples-gas.com and follow Peoples on social media @peoplesnatgas.
About Community Forge: Community Forge, now owned and operated by its 501(c)3 Locally Grown, supports first-time entrepreneurs and small business owners, with a focus on Black-owned and women-owned businesses. Our goal is to help build the foundation of an equitable economy for Pittsburgh by creating opportunities that promote professional development, financial wellbeing, and entrepreneurial growth for businesses. We take a holistic approach by working to break down silos and serve businesses, individuals, families, and youth in our communities.
About Riverside Center for Innovation: We’re a nonprofit company that has generated over half a billion dollars in economic impact and supported more than 3,500 jobs. With office space, networking events, and programs that support diversity, veterans, health technology, brownfield redevelopment, and minority construction firms, the Riverside Center for Innovation is a hub for the entrepreneurial spirit of Pittsburgh.
About Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh: Ranked for more than a decade as one of the nation’s highest performing affiliates, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh was founded in 1918 with the shared National Urban League mission of enabling African-Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power, and civil rights. Helping more than 20,000 individuals of all races and walks of life last year alone, the Pittsburgh Urban League helps others to help themselves through extra-curricular educational opportunities, health advocacy, housing counseling, parental education and support for early childhood and youth development, hunger prevention services, sustainable wage career preparation, and other programs that lead to improved ability to achieve economic empowerment and self-reliance. For more information visit www.ulpgh.org
About Vibrant Pittsburgh: Vibrant Pittsburgh is a premier economic development membership organization, dedicated to supporting the growth and economic competitiveness of Pittsburgh; as the regions central resource, spokesperson, and convener on workforce diversity and inclusion, Vibrant Pittsburgh works with area employers to position the region as an inclusive and welcoming place for people of all backgrounds.