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September 7, 2004

Alcoa Foundation Partners To Encourage Entrepreneurism in Youth

PITTBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 7, 2004--Alcoa Foundation today announced that it has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania to offer a program to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in children throughout the world.

Alcoa Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to fund, "The Buzz Project," which was successfully piloted in Pittsburgh area Boys & Girls Clubs earlier this summer as well as two locations in Switzerland and St. Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean.

The program involves youth 11- to 15-years-old writing a business plan, preparing an advertising and marketing campaign for the business, and presenting the concept to a group of "venture capitalists" made up of parents, teachers, and friends of the students, as well as invited bankers and small business experts, who have Bee Bucks to invest. In order to secure funding for their businesses, the children had to put up collateral.

As the new school year approaches, the program's founder, Dr. Cindy Iannarelli, is preparing to bring "The Buzz Project" to Denmark and Italy. The project in Italy will operate in an orphanage near Naples that owns an olive and grape vineyard that the children will use as the subject of their marketing and advertising campaign. The Denmark project will operate the same as the pilot project.

"This worthwhile program empowers youth by introducing them to the idea of entrepreneurship as a career choice," said Kathleen W. Buechel, President and Treasurer of Alcoa Foundation. "Alcoa Foundation is always looking for opportunities such as this that enhances global education and provides workplace skills to children in locations throughout the world where the company operates."

Dr. Iannarelli, director of the Center for Family Business at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a professor at the University of Trento in Italy, said youth who participate in the program are typically more confident about their business skills after making their presentations.

"Thinking creatively, managing money and developing interpersonal skills in a business environment are benefits no matter what profession a child chooses," she said.

The Buzz Project provides the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania with a tool to interest younger children in entrepreneurial activities, said the club's executive vice president, Timothy M. McElhone.

"From our perspective, the Buzz Project adds value to our youth entrepreneur program," said McElhone, explaining that the Boys and Girls Clubs previously focused on entrepreneurial programming for youth ages 14 and older.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for youth, with particular emphasis on members who live in urban communities of highly diverse cultures. The primary mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is to promote health, social, educational, vocational, and character development for boys and girls age 5 through 18 by building self-esteem, values and skills.

About Alcoa Foundation

In 2003, Alcoa Foundation made $15 million in grants around the world. Communities where Alcoa has a presence are the primary focus of its grantmaking programs. Through disaster relief grants and employee engagement initiatives like ACTION and Bravo!, additional resources are made available to our communities. The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit www.alcoa.com, under Community.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 120,000 employees in 41 countries and has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 45 years and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes since 2001. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com