Partner Impact: ComEd
ComEd has been making an impact as a partner of the Chicago Urban League for more than 30 years, supporting programs that help youth and adults prepare for the future through educational opportunities and job training. The relationship has grown significantly over the years and continues to expand. ComEd executive Melissa Washington discusses the longstanding partnership and what makes her proud to work for ComEd.
Q&A with Melissa Y. Washington, Vice President of External Affairs and Large Customer Services
1. What is your role at ComEd?
I lead the team that manages the company’s relationships with the counties, communities, municipalities, and large commercial customers within ComEd’s service territory. ComEd delivers energy to 3.9 million customers, and manages relationships with more than 400 municipalities, and 27 counties in Illinois.
2. Which Chicago Urban League programs does ComEd support and why?
ComEd has funded the Project Ready College program, which assists youth with college expenses, enabling them to complete their post-secondary education. Through this program, youth also participate in college-readiness workshops, college tours and fairs to gain knowledge on the college application process, financial-aid, resume building, letters of recommendation, essay writing and professional dress. Scholarships are awarded to students seeking degrees at schools across the country and who have an interest in science, math and engineering.
ComEd also partners with the Chicago Urban League to develop workforce in the construction trades. The League has served as a training partner in ComEd’s CONSTRUCT program since the program launched in 2013. The ComEd CONSTRUCT program focuses on strengthening candidates’ job-readiness skills and life skills, and preparing them for testing that is often a requirement of employment. The CONSTRUCT program has served as a gateway for candidates to obtain well-paying entry level positions in the construction industry.
We’re also a consistent supporter of the Chicago Urban League’s Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner. ComEd was a lead sponsor for the 2016 Golden Fellowship Dinner-Centennial Edition benefit gala, and ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore served as the co-chair. She is also a member of the League’s Board of Directors. ComEd recognizes that this gala is the organization’s signature fundraising event, and we support it annually.
3. What aspect of ComEd’s partnership with the Chicago Urban League makes you the most proud?
I’m very proud of the life-transforming work we’ve done through the CONSTRUCT program and the scholarship program. In both instances, we’re building pathways for people to have long-term career success. We’re meeting people where they are and helping them connect to the resources they need to be successful in their future careers.
4. Outside of the partnership with the Chicago Urban League, how has ComEd made an impact toward improving lives in Chicago?
I’m very proud to work for ComEd because of the daily impact it has in the communities where it operates. We power lives by delivering safe and reliable energy. In both instances, ComEd serves a vital role in powering the Chicago and Illinois economy. In addition, ComEd partners broadly with organizations focused on strengthening communities through education and access to opportunities and other necessary resources.