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March 21, 2002

Alcoa Foundation Announces Request for Proposals for Literacy, Employment Programs On the Northside; Allegheny Works Initiative Enters Its Fourth Year

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 21, 2002--Alcoa Foundation announced today that it is seeking proposals from Northside nonprofit organizations as part of its Allegheny Works initiative, a five-year, $1 million program to enhance literacy and employment opportunities on the Northside.

The announcement comes at the start of year four of Allegheny Works. In the program's first three years, Alcoa Foundation awarded more than $600,000 in grants to Northside organizations with the input of a Northside community leaders panel.

The Foundation has opened an Allegheny Works Hotline at 412-553-4000, for information on how to apply for funding. In addition, the following timetable can guide organizations seeking funds:

April 19, 2002      Deadline for organizations to send a letter of 
                    intent to Alcoa Foundation outlining:
                    --  program goals
                    --  how the goals relate to literacy or employment
                    --  qualifications of the organization to carry
                        out the grant
                    Alcoa Foundation will send a grant application 
                    within two days of receipt of the letter of 

May 24, 2002        Grant application due to Alcoa Foundation

July 2002           Review and consideration by Northside community 
                    panel and Alcoa Foundation

September 2002      Programs begin

Past grantees' projects have ranged from Bethany House Ministries' after-school programs in drug and alcohol prevention and study skills for youth in the Northview Heights Housing community, to Black Men Rising's program that increased access to the Internet among residents of the Northside and closes the gap between those who do and do not have access to computers and communications technologies. A program through Reading is Fundamental helped an at-risk school on the Northside to reach a district standard of each student reading at least 25 books per year.

In 2001, 17 organizations received grants. Grassroots organizations make up an important part of the grantee mix.

"With the ongoing insights of Northside community leaders, we've been able to work on literacy and employment issues from the ground up," said Kathleen W. Buechel, president of Alcoa Foundation. "We're pleased to be able to support these kinds of efforts over time so that their momentum takes hold."

"Allegheny Works has provided a new level of encouragement for Northside community leaders and nonprofit organizations," said Janice Parks, Executive Director, Young Men's/Women's African Heritage Association, and chair of the Allegheny Works community panel. "It has enabled us to enhance our employment and literacy programs across the many neighborhoods of the Northside."

Community Design

Allegheny Works is a collaboration between Alcoa Foundation and Northside community, religious, youth and education leaders that began in 1998. At the heart of it is a unique panel made up in part by leaders of Northside organizations, who advised Alcoa Foundation on the community's needs, and how best to respond to those needs. The panel evaluates grant proposals and recommends grantees to Alcoa Foundation's board of directors.

Panelists include:

The Rev. John Cochran -- Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church

Saleem Ghubril -- Executive Director, The Pittsburgh Project

Michelle A. Jones -- Executive Director, Healthy Start, Inc.

Janice Parks -- Executive Director, Young Men's/Women's African

Heritage Association; Panel Chair

Karen Picard -- Administrative Coordinator, Alcoa Foundation

Scott Hudson -- Senior Grants Analyst, Alcoa Foundation

Robin Kaye -- Panel Facilitator, Principal, Dewey & Kaye

About Alcoa Foundation

Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in more than 25 countries around the world where Alcoa operates. In addition to community grants addressing local needs, the Foundation provides global grants focusing on Areas of Excellence, including: Conservation and Sustainability; Safe and Healthy Children and Families; Global Education in Science, Engineering, Technology and Business; Business and Community Partnerships; and Skills Today for Tomorrow. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit Alcoa's World Wide Web site at and click on "Community."

Nonprofit organizations can address correspondence to the Foundation at:

Allegheny Works
        Alcoa Foundation
        201 Isabella Street
        Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5858