Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) last week announced a $100,000 donation to the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) Education Fund & Foundation for STEM scholarships.
The announcement came during GLAAACC’s 28th Annual Economic Awards Dinner, where SoCalGas Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative and Diversity Officer, Jeffery Walker, was honored as the Corporate Executive of the Year. GLAAACC Education Fund & Foundation scholarships are awarded to students from Crenshaw, Dorsey, Jordan, Hamilton, and Washington Prep high schools who plan to pursue a post-secondary education.
“SoCalGas is an exemplary corporate citizen and community champion. With this donation for scholarships, our students will have the financial support to follow their dreams and careers in business. Jeffery Walker is an example and role model because of his outstanding achievements at the nation’s largest natural gas company, SoCalGas,” said Gene Hale, GLAAACC’s chairman, adding “He has helped lead as SoCalGas creates pathways for underserved small businesses that have not traditionally had access to opportunities.”
“It is my pleasure to congratulate SoCalGas’s Senior VP Jeff Walker for his achievement as Corporate Executive of the Year,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr., who was also honored at the event. “SoCalGas has shown corporate leadership by investing in our communities and our youth, which is exemplified by their generous donation to the GLAAACC Foundation.”
“At SoCalGas we have supported STEM education through our company giving. This partnership with the GLAAACC Fund & Foundation will help reach more local students who want to pursue careers in STEM. SoCalGas has donated over $2.9 million in academic scholarships to more than 2,270 students and last year, we provided nearly $1.8 million in grants to educational organizations in Central and Southern California,” said Jeffery Walker, adding “We made a commitment to increase African American supplier participation and growth, and this past year we increased our supplier spend with African American vendors by 49%. This is due in part to efforts with organizations such as GLAAACC, which SoCalGas has been a member of for over two decades.”
SoCalGas’ partnership with the GLAAACC Fund & Foundation is part of the company’s ASPIRE 2045 sustainability goals, which includes a commitment to invest $50 million to drive positive change in diverse and underserved communities over the next five years.
Walker was selected as Corporate Executive of the Year for championing supplier diversity and his leadership at SoGalGas. He serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Foundation, Chrysalis, the National Utilities Diversity Council (NUDC), and the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).
In 2021, the company’s Supplier Diversity Program spent a record $972.6 million with over 570 women, minority, service-disabled veteran, and LGBT businesses. It was the 29th consecutive year that SoCalGas exceeded state regulator’s goals for supplier diversity programs.