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AEP Pledges $250,000 to Alford STEM Center at COTC/Ohio State Newark

NEWARK, Ohio, November 6, 2019 – AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (AEP) company, has pledged $250,000 to the Newark Campus Development Fund to support the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology capital campaign. The $32 million, three-story, 60,000 square foot facility will become the 11th building on The Ohio State University at Newark's and Central Ohio Technical College's shared 200-acre campus. 

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"On behalf of AEP Ohio I am extremely pleased to present this check, which will help area students gain access to STEM education directly leading to in-demand jobs supporting our local economy," said Kratt.Tom Kratt, vice president of distribution operations for AEP Ohio, presented a ceremonial check on October 23 to William L. MacDonald, PhD, dean/director of Ohio State Newark; John M. Berry, PhD, president of COTC; and Dan DeLawder, Building for our Future campaign chair.

The much-needed Alford Center will allow both institutions to expand academic programming, increase enrollment, enhance student success and better meet local workforce needs. The building's anticipated completion date is spring 2021.

This fall, COTC began offering an Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Technology – Electric Transmission and Power Distribution, which will prepare graduates to immediately enter careers in the high-demand field of electric transmission and distribution. Students enrolled in the new degree program are eligible to apply for a paid hybrid-model transmission dispatcher apprenticeship program with AEP and Apex Systems. Apprentices work 20 hours per week at AEP while also attending classes full-time at COTC. At the apprenticeship's conclusion, graduates will be well positioned for job opportunities within the power industry.

The Ohio State University will offer a new bachelor's degree program on its regional campuses that will prepare graduates with skills needed for high-demand jobs in the state. The Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology with a concentration in manufacturing is tentatively set to begin on the Newark campus in autumn 2023. The degree program is designed to produce highly skilled college graduates with broad training in manufacturing engineering technology who are prepared for plant management roles. A resurgence of manufacturing, Ohio's largest economic sector, has increased demand for college graduates with this combination of skills.

"On behalf of COTC and Ohio State Newark, we are very grateful to AEP for this generous gift," said DeLawder. "Our community immediately recognized the importance of this new STEM facility, and their support propelled this capital campaign to near completion in just a little over one year. As we approach achieving our campaign goal, I want to thank everyone who has contributed. Your pledge makes our communities stronger."

For information about the Building for our Future Campaign, naming opportunities in the Alford Center or how to make a gift, please contact Kim Manno, director of advancement, at 740-366-9135 or manno.18@osu.edu.

AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP's more than 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including about 5,200 megawatts of renewable generation. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field, or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that's inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State's more than 200 majors.

Caption: Left to Right: Dan DeLawder, Building for our Future campaign chair; William L. MacDonald, dean/director, Ohio State Newark; Tom Kratt, vice president, distribution operations, AEP Ohio; John M. Berry, president, COTC.