Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Alcoa to drawdown Tuckertown Reservoir for boat ramp improvements

Alcoa Power Generating Inc. will temporarily drawdown Tuckertown Reservoir approximately 6 feet below full to repair and extend the concrete boat ramp at the Highway 49 Boat Access Area in Stanly County.

Work on the boat ramp is scheduled to begin on October 27 and will take less than one week. As soon as work on the boat ramp is complete, the lake will be refilled as quickly as possible.

Lake levels are expected to return to normal during the week of November 3, although the exact timing may vary due to rainfall and river flow. Current lake levels and project updates are available online at

“This temporary drawdown will allow APGI to perform necessary repairs to the Highway 49 boat ramp. While this work is being conducted, we are making additional improvements to enhance the safety and accessibility of the boat access area,” said Karen Baldwin, APGI Natural Resources Manager.

The drawdown will not impact other boat access areas at Tuckertown.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Volunteers pack food for Aquadale Elementary School students during Alcoa Month of Service

A team of volunteers from Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI) spent Thursday packing meals for students at Aquadale Elementary School in Norwood. The Weekend Food Program provides healthy, non-perishable meals for students during the weekend.

“Supporting local schoolchildren is one of the best ways we can give back to our community,” said Nicole Wright, Alcoa Foundation Coordinator for APGI. “One in four children in North Carolina is at risk of hunger, so food programs like this ensure that students have healthy meals to eat when they are not in school.”

Alcoa’s volunteer effort is part of an ACTION (Alcoans Coming Together in Our Neighborhoods) grant program that supports community projects through the donation of time and money. The volunteer efforts of Alcoa employees are supported by the Alcoa Foundation with a grant of $1,500.

Alcoa designates each October as a “Month of Service” that is the centerpiece of the company’s volunteerism efforts. In 2013, Alcoa employees around the world spent 700,000 hours in October donating their time, energy and expertise to make a positive difference in the communities where they live and work. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Alcoa Foundation funds technology initiative in Badin

L to R: Janice Little, Uwharrie Community Services; Mark Gross, Alcoa Power Generating; Nicole Wright, Alcoa Foundation Coordinator; and Johnny Westbrook, Uwharrie Community Services.
The Alcoa Foundation presented a check for $10,540 to Uwharrie Community Services last week to fund a technology program aimed at helping seniors improve their computer skills.

The Uwharrie Computer Learning Initiative will offer free classes to seniors and others over an eight-week period to help them master basic computer skills. Morning (10-12pm) and evening (6-8pm) classes will be offered each week, beginning October 7, at the Isiah Westbrook Community Center in Badin, NC. 

Alcoa has a long history of supporting community programs in the Yadkin region. Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation have contributed more than $4 million to worthwhile causes in central North Carolina in the past 25 years.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Alcoa awards grants to five local organizations

Alcoa Power Generating Inc. announced that it has recently awarded five grants to local community organizations, including $5,000 to fund diving equipment for the Rowan County Rescue Squad and $5,000 to help the John Murray Community Care Clinic provide medications and medical supplies.

“We’re excited to announce these contributions that will help provide healthcare for the uninsured, support women who have been abused, and help educate and feed underprivileged children in our community,” said Nicole Wright, who manages Alcoa’s community grants in North Carolina.

Contributions announced by Alcoa include:

A $5,000 grant to the Rowan County Rescue Squad to purchase four underwater facemasks and buoyancy control devices for divers. The equipment will be used by divers who conduct underwater search and rescue operations at High Rock Lake.

“The equipment is imperative to the safety of the rescue squad dive team,” said Eddie Cress, Rowan County Rescue Squad Chief. “We appreciate Alcoa’s assistance in making this purchase possible.”

A $5,000 grant to the John Murray Community Care Clinic, a healthcare clinic in Albemarle that was founded by a retired physician in Stanly County in 1998 to provide quality care for the working poor in Stanly County. The clinic does not receive any federal, state or local funding. The Alcoa grant will allow the clinic to provide $5,000 worth of medications and medical supplies.

A $1,000 grant to Esther House, a women’s clinic in Stanly County that provides safe shelter, education, counseling and other support services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Alcoa grant will be used to provide training for Esther House counselors.

A $1,000 grant to Communities in Schools of Rowan County, a mentoring program that serves 2,500 children in Rowan County. The Alcoa grant will allow Communities In Schools to help feed underprivileged students during the weekend.

A $1,000 grant to Operation North State, a volunteer organization based in Winston-Salem that provides military support service programs within North Carolina, including care packages for wounded warriors and deployed troops. The Alcoa grant will help Operation North State serve more military members.

Alcoa has a long history of supporting community programs in Yadkin region. Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation have contributed more than $4 million to worthwhile causes in the central North Carolina in the past 25 years.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pfeiffer receives $20,000 gift from Alcoa Foundation

The Alcoa Foundation recently awarded a $20,000 grant to Pfeiffer University to support a series of summer camps focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Dr. Laura Lowder, assistant professor of education; Nicole Wright, foundation coordinator, Alcoa Power Generating; Dr. Jerry Boone, president; Mark Gross, Hydro Operations Manager, Alcoa Power Generating; and Dr. Dane Fischer, professor of biology. 

Pfeiffer receives $20,000 gift from Alcoa Foundation
Grant will support summer camps focusing on STEM subjects

Pfeiffer University will host a series of summer camps focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) next year, thanks to a $20,000 grant provided by the Alcoa Foundation. 

“Pfeiffer University is grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for its longtime support of Pfeiffer students through annual scholarships and the direct funding of academic programs relevant to the local workforce,” said Carol May, Pfeiffer University’s director of institutional advancement. “Through these and this new gift for STEM summer camps, the Alcoa Foundation demonstrates its enduring commitment to strengthening the Stanly County community by addressing needs of today to assure readiness for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Alcoa Foundation grant will support three STEM camps for students in elementary, middle and high school. The camps include:

STEM Into Summer (Grades K-5)
Young campers will explore STEM concepts using LEGOs WeDo and Simple Machines programs. This hands-on robotics experience provides a learning environment where teams of students work together to engineer solutions to problems.

Planting the Seeds of STEM (Grades 6-8)
This camp focuses on inquiry-based experiments using plants as a model system. Campers will include plant tours of the Pfeiffer campus and discussion of how various plant species have evolved to share the forest and urban ecosystem. The camp may include microscopic analysis of plant cells and/or extraction and analysis of plant DNA.

A STEM Career: It’s in Your DNA (Grades 9-12)
This camp for high school students will feature laboratory training and interactive exercises that promote collaborative, interactive and engaged learning while inspiring students to pursue STEM careers related to DNA science. Pfeiffer student will work with campers to perform hands-on, interactive activities that are not typically carried out in high school labs due to a lack of resources and expertise. STEM careers such as forensic science, pharmaceuticals, medicine, cancer biology, and biotechnology will be highlighted.

“The Alcoa Foundation is dedicated to supporting education and encouraging schools to provide STEM learning opportunities for students,” said Nicole Wright, who manages Alcoa’s community grants in North Carolina. “We’re thrilled to support the work that Pfeiffer is doing to engage a wide range of North Carolina students in STEM learning.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career — and only about half of those who pursue a college major in a STEM field choose to work in a related career. Currently, the U.S. is ranked 25th globally in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations.

“Competence in math and science is essential for employment in medicine, biotechnology, computer science and information technology, pharmaceuticals and forensic science — fields that will drive the 21st century,” said Dr. Dane Fisher, professor of biology, who will design and direct the STEM camps with Dr. Laura Lowder, assistant professor of education. “Pfeiffer University is very grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for recognizing this critical need and making it possible for Stanly County students to participate in an educational summer experience that could potentially set the course for their futures.”

For more information about the camps, contact: or