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For Immediate Release February 16, 2016

Lindsay Easom easom@usc.edu (773) 304-6991

CITI FOUNDATION ENERGIZES RURAL LEARNING CENTER Citibank Citi Foundation Presents Rural Learning Center with $250,000 Check in Support of Renewable Energy Efforts HOWARD, SD - Today, at a conference in Howard, South Dakota, President, CEO and Director of Corporate Citizenship of the Citibank Citi Foundation Pamela Flaherty presented a $250,000 check from the Foundation to the Rural Learning Center. The Citi Foundation wants to support the Rural Learning Center for their efforts on a renewable energy industry development project that aims to create a highly efficient sustainable green training facility in Howard’s small, rural community. The Foundation’s $250,000 grant is intended to specifically provide funding for components of the Growing Green Rural Partners program, including the design and development of a wind, solar and geothermal employment training program. “The Citi Foundation has been a critically important partner to the Rural Learning Center over the past several years. Citi’s support has provided the center with a national and international platform in order to challenge rural communities everywhere to ‘reimagine rural.’ Quality training in renewable energy occupations means access to better jobs, which in turn benefits the individual, the community, the state and the country,” said Rural Learning Center President Randy Parry. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified the wind industry as a high-growth sector with high demand for specialized workers. Many trainees are high school students who were at risk of dropping out of school, or low and moderate income adults who worked two or three jobs to make ends meet. Fortunately, Citi funds will be used to design and build five Mobile Renewable Energy Training Units to support distance learning for trainees in the wind energy field. Additionally, funds will go toward renewable energy industries, a marketing and recruitment plan to promote the training program, and predevelopment costs for the construction of the training facility. Many graduates of the program hope to be employed at two renewable energy companies operating in Howard, South Dakota. With a need for more trained technicians, both the graduates and energy companies look forward to the additions and improvements to the training facilities. “As a rural state with only 800,000 residents, South Dakota struggles to keep its young people from leaving our borders for amenities and jobs that pay higher wages in larger cities. Many of the states young people would probably like to stay in South Dakota to work and raise their families. Citi is pleased to play a role in helping the development of more green, higher-wage permanent jobs in the renewable energy industry that will eventually keep more young people in South Dakota and improve the state’s economy,” said CEO of Citibank Kendall Stork.


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