Drax Announces $250,000 Gloster Community Fund

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 4/23/2024, Location: North America

Renewable energy company Drax announced today a $250,000 commitment to create the Gloster Community Fund, a fund earmarked exclusively for initiatives that will improve quality of life and support grassroots activities in Gloster, Mississippi, where Drax operates a wood pellet production facility.

Following community outreach and conversations, senior Drax leadership visited with Gloster community members and town leadership in March 2024 to discuss actionable items to meet the needs of the community. From those meetings, opportunities were identified where funding from Drax could help, including educational and recreational outlets for local youth and the creation of a community advisory panel.

"Our continued investment in Gloster aligns with our core values of sustainability and community engagement," said Matt White, Drax Executive Vice President of North America Operations. "This latest investment is a direct result of working with community members where we operate, and it represents Drax's ongoing commitment to listening to the concerns and desires of the people to take steps to respond."

The latest commitments from Drax to Gloster residents include:

- Dedicated $250,000 Gloster Fund: Will allow Drax to continue making lasting, positive impacts in the community and will be earmarked specifically for Gloster projects and initiatives that are designed to improve quality of life and support grassroots activities as part of our commitment to being a good neighbor.

- Community Advisory Panel: To help Drax deepen community engagement and more effectively respond to community needs, we are creating a community advisory panel in Gloster that will be made up of community leaders and citizens to help inform Drax's future investments in the region. This panel will help identify local priority issues and projects to be supported with the Gloster Community Fund.

- Career & Job Opportunity Assistance: Drax leadership committed to working with the town to share job openings and opportunities. In addition to posting to the Gloster webpage, the jobs will be posted on the Gloster Town Hall community information board. Drax has also committed to working with Amite County High School and Southwest Mississippi College and Workforce Center to create easier pathways into Drax employment.

- Donation of Computers: To help support educational and tutoring efforts organized by local organizations, including the Gloster Chamber of Commerce, Drax will donate computers to the Town of Gloster. The computers will be housed at the Gloster National Guard Armory where residents can use them for educational and research purposes.

- Annual Town Hall Meetings: To better communicate and respond directly to community questions and concerns.

- Bi-annual Focus Groups: To better understand and address community sentiment.

- New Community Manager: To help coordinate town halls and focus groups, Drax will welcome a new Community Manager in the coming weeks. This position will cover community engagement for Drax operations in the southern U.S., including Gloster.

- Gloster Updates Webpage: Drax is launching a dedicated Gloster webpage that include frequently asked questions, detailed information about the plant and links to the most recent job openings.

"I am delighted to see Drax's continued commitment to our town," said Jerry Norwood, Mayor of Gloster. "It's not just dollars Drax is donating, but resources and time. Their investment not only boosts our local economy, but also underscores Drax's dedication to our community's growth and success."

Prior to the community investments announced today, Drax donated $130,000 towards the creation of a walking track in the Gloster area, committed to fund the installation of air conditioning systems at the National Guard Armory Building, organized a turkey giveaway event for 200 households in Amite County during the 2023 holiday season, sponsored STEM-focused programs for children, and provided financial assistance to local groups following natural disasters.

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