Anne Duncan, the Vice President of U.S. Operations for Syrah, took the stage at the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Justice to the People Roadshow in LaPlace, Louisiana, where she participated in a community benefits roundtable alongside Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and representatives from Entergy, Koura, Carbon Capture and Sequestration Projects.
One of the key topics of discussion during the roundtable was workforce initiative programs, and Anne provided an update on Syrah’s partnership with the Concordia Parish School Board (CPSB) in the revitalization of vocational-technical (vo-tech) programs at three local high schools.
"This is an investment into our future workforce" Anne emphasized. She explained the project’s goal of bolstering the next generation with skills that will lead them to a promising career in manufacturing and opportunities close to home. “We are very committed and excited about this project – we took our team to these schools and rolled up our sleeves to clean up the facilities; we see this as a true relationship instead of a handshake and a cheque. Our collaboration with CPSB aims to equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the evolving job market, especially in the energy sector."
Anne went on to highlight the significance of Syrah’s close relationship with local stakeholders including the Mayor of Vidalia, and police and fire departments. She emphasized the Company's commitment to being an active participant in the community, fostering collaboration, and contributing to the overall sustainable development of Concordia Parish. This included Syrah’s funding of the Vidalia Police Department’s “911eye” software and the Company’s Employee Reward and Recognition Program which provides monthly contributions to local charities, nominated by employees. “In a small town it’s imperative to create these connections; we are so fortunate that our employees are our advocates and help to strengthen the relationship between Syrah and the community.”
When asked about what makes Syrah’s mission different than other manufacturing plants that have made promises to communities, Anne quoted Secretary Jennifer Granholm; “We are stronger if we move together” and emphasized the common goal that unites the diverse stakeholders involved. "This isn't just about the present; it's about laying the foundation for the next generation" she stated. "We all have a common goal – the betterment of our community and planet – and there is a dire need for collaborative efforts to ensure a sustainable future."
The roundtable also touched upon the broader Initiative for Energy Justice goals and initiatives, with Secretary Jennifer Granholm expressing optimism about the positive impact these green projects could have on local communities. The inclusion of major industry players like Entergy and Koura further highlights the importance of a united approach towards achieving energy justice for all.
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