Washington Interfaith Network’s CARE Campaign (Corporate Accountability for Racial Equity), has resulted in the introduction by Pepco/Exelon of the $36 million Racial Equity Capital Fund. The fund will provide needed capital to help minority-owned businesses create jobs and expand in under-resourced communities served by Exelon’s utilities.
This is part of a larger agreement Washington Interfaith Network(WIN) negotiated with Pepco to increase access to local careers and raise wages of frontline workers. That project is already underway with commitments for 100 additional careers a year from D.C. communities with high unemployment. Wages are increased for all front line contractors to the prevailing wage, resulting in several job categories making nearly double what they were previously earning.
[Image: David Velazquez, Exelon Executive Vice President, on Twitter.]
Exelon Announces $36 Million Equity Fund to Support Minority-Owned Business Growth, Exelon Corporation [pdf]
Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) is expanding living wage jobs and high quality job training through a strategic partnership with energy company Pepco in Washington D.C.
Base wages of certain infrastructure jobs will be raised to "$20 per hour, increasing to $22 per hour within one to two years" including underground work related to electric, natural gas, water, telecommunications, or other utility infrastructure.
'This enhanced partnership with WIN is a tremendous achievement, and supports efforts in building a resilient and equitable economy that provides all residents with more opportunity and continues to position the District as a leader in driving an innovative, inclusive and sustainable energy future,” said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president.
The plan also calls for the Department of Employment Services to expand its support of the DC Infrastructure Academy to increase enrollment from 100 to 120 students per year in the Pepco Utility Training School at the academy. Every graduate will be offered a job with Pepco or one of its contractors.
“We are so grateful that in this season of two major pandemics of both having serious social and economic reverberations throughout our city and our country, we are grateful that Pepco has stepped to the forefront to be a strong partner for justice, fairness, and opportunity,” said Rev. Joseph Daniels, lead pastor of Emory Fellowship in Washington and WIN co-founder." Rev. Lionel Edmonds, fellow WIN co-founder, concurred.
This agreement serves as a nationwide and even global example for what corporate accountability looks like when communities organize to put their interests in racial equity and economic justice on the table.
Pepco, Washington Interfaith Network Team Up for Jobs Initiative, The Washington Informer [pdf]
WIN organized immigrants and allies in DC to push for $2.5 million in city funding to go toward immigrants' legal services. Mayor Bowser hosted budget engagement forums throughout February, and WIN partnered with legal service providers to turn out nearly 200 people to support the funding. In her State of the District address, Mayor Bowser announced that she would raise the funding from $900,000 to $2.5 million.