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February 3, 2005
Alcoa Foundation Invests Approximately US$375,000 in Programs to Improve Quality of Life in Jamaica in 2004; Foundation's Five-Year Investment in Jamaica Nears US$1 Million
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 3, 2005--Alcoa Foundation announced today that it invested approximately US$375,000 in programs to improve the quality of life in Jamaica in 2004, bringing its five-year investment in the nation to nearly US$1 million.
"Through our partnership with Jamalco, we have provided the funding for quality healthcare in hospitals, vocational training for residents, and scholarship funds to local educational institutions," said Kathleen W. Buechel, president and treasurer of Alcoa Foundation. "Jamalco employees work directly with representatives from the community, government and local organizations to learn what local needs exist so that Alcoa Foundation can continue its long history of working to invest in the quality of life at Alcoa communities worldwide."
Several grants addressed disaster preparedness before Hurricane Ivan hit in September and rehabilitation efforts in its aftermath. Alcoa employees joined community members and local officials to spearhead efforts to clean storm drains before the hurricane hit so that flood damage could be mitigated. At the same time, the Foundation granted US$25,000 to the Jamaican Red Cross to establish and stock emergency shelters.
After the hurricane hit, the Foundation awarded a US$80,000 grant to Food for the Poor Inc. to teach fishermen in two Jamaican communities a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly technique to fish. The funding was used to purchase boats and fishing and cooling equipment so that the fisherman can fish farther out in the water, which helps to protect endangered reefs closer to shore. This effort is part of a longer commitment to restore economic activity in two communities near Jamalco, where the livelihood of many fishermen was devastated by the hurricane.
Rehabilitation and caring for those affected by the hurricane extended into Alcoa's Worldwide Week of Community Service activities last October, when local employees re-roofed and painted a damaged school and held health care screening in the communities of Mitchell Town, Portland Cottage and Downer.
Some of the other organizations that benefited from Alcoa Foundation grants in 2004 include:
-- United Way of Jamaica in Kingston to support Dolphin Head Trust and its Forestry Training Facility and Resource Center. The non-government organization (NGO) assists communities with establishing sustainable, eco-friendly ways of managing land so that they can generate income while protecting the forest.
-- Council of Voluntary Social Services in Kingston to support a program to help non-governmental organizations (NGOs) identify potential entrepreneurial ventures in their service areas and develop and implement business plans to generate revenue to fund their social services.
-- Jamaica Association for the Deaf in Kingston to provide funding for an academic enrichment program for deaf students to attend teacher training college.
-- Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville to provide funding for an environmental science center at the university in response to the need for qualified personnel in the field.
-- Economic Development Foundation of Jamaica in Kingston to provide funding for the development of a model Police Station for community policing in the inner city community of Grants Pen in Kingston.
Jamalco is a 50/50 relationship between Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals ("AWAC") - a global alliance between Alcoa and Alumina Ltd. - and the Government of Jamaica. Jamalco employs nearly 565 people in the country and has an annual impact of approximately US$119 million on the local economy.
About Alcoa Foundation
Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in more than 32 countries around the world where Alcoa operates. 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. Alcoa Foundation manages Alcoa's ACTION and Bravo! programs that recognize the volunteer efforts of employees with grants to the organizations they serve. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit www.alcoa.com, under Community.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, 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 approximately 131,000 employees in 43 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.