It’s been 50 years since the loss of the visionary leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., but his words still ring true. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
We take that question to heart. At TVA, we’re committed to partnerships that help us improve our communities. Our mission is to make life better for people in the Tennessee Valley. We do that every day in providing least-cost power to the residents to the residents of the Valley. But we also go above and beyond that—as a company and as individual communities—to build better and stronger communities in the Valley. Here’s how:
TVA supported more than 150 nonprofit organizations over the past year through contributions to the communities we serve, focusing on STEM education, hunger relief and community enrichment partnerships with our local power companies.
In addition, TVA employees gave generously in the 2017 Combined Federal Campaign, resulting in more than $1 million dollars pledged to support the CFC charities of their choice. During the campaign, employees volunteered during designated Days of Serving, resulting in over 7,200 hours of service to charities in the Valley.
Employees from TVA and local power companies partnered to support Feeding America food bank volunteer activities. Through this partnership, more than 1.2 million meals were distributed in 2017, including 50 food distribution activities to provide relief from hunger in the Valley. In the first quarter of 2018, nearly 264,000 meals have already been distributed. “Mobile food pantries are a great way for us to get out into the community and partner with local power companies to provide meals for hundreds of families,” says Community Relations program manager Rachel Crickmar.
TVA is dedicated to building a qualified workforce for the future, and one way is through promoting STEM education in local schools. “We care about the future of our students and through robotics sponsorships we open doors of opportunity through learning and fun,” says Crickmar.
Robotics programs are sponsored by TVA throughout the year for schools across the Valley, and statistical studies show that with two years of robotics, students test significantly better in math, science and language arts than students not taking robotics courses. In 2017, approximately 500 elementary, middle and high schools participated in TVA robotics events across 38 competitions —reaching over 10,000 students. This April, 34 teams representing 29 schools from across TVA’s service territory are competing at their respective world robotics finals.
Partnering with museums is another way TVA promotes STEM learning. There are currently six Tennessee Science Alliance Museums that receive funding from TVA for a variety of STEM exhibits and experiences that allow hands-on physical learning of the sciences.
TVA continues to build and grow relationships throughout the Valley in other ways as well. In the Tri Cities region, TVA is a sponsor of Bristol Motor Speedway in Lights, the region’s largest holiday light show with over two million lights powered by TVA. TVA and local power companies in middle Tennessee, southeast Tennessee and Kentucky partner to support local chapters of Junior Achievement, empowering young people to succeed in economics and financial literacy. Sponsorship is also provided for the Tennessee Science Bowl, a fast-paced academic competition that offers teams of high school students from across the state of Tennessee a chance to match their wits in math and science. In Alabama, TVA is a sponsor of MathCounts which provides engaging math programs and holds competitions for middle school students of all ability levels in order to build confidence and improve attitudes towards math and problem solving.
“Investing in the community is part of our mission of service in the Valley,” says Crickmar. “Knowing that we make a difference by inspiring students to pursue STEM education and providing meals to those who hunger makes me proud to be a part of TVA.”