TEP employees recently went out on speed dates, but they weren’t on a romantic mission. Instead, they were making connections and educating students about future careers.

Through a grant by the Center for the Future of Arizona, TEP employees were invited to Industry Speed Date sessions at local high schools, where they met with groups of students who were seeking information about job options.

Students rotated quickly among tables where TEP employees answered questions and shared information about their work in the energy industry.

“It was a very neat concept. It was interesting to see the kids’ interaction with it,” said Jamie Carpenter, TEP Learning and Development Specialist.

The event is just one of the many ways, including career days and school visits, that TEP’s employees reach out to students and community members. Last year alone, our programs reached about 19,800 students from second grade through high school.

Such activities and financial contributions align with our company’s focus on education, particularly career development and STEM lessons. (STEM is science, technology, engineering, and math.)

Learning and Development team members also attended a computer science class at Sunnyside High School and a careers session at Amphitheater High School where students were exploring job skills that are needed after high school.

“We inspired them to consider alternative opportunities beyond college and to explore careers in the utility industry,” Carpenter said.

Our Impact by the Numbers

Throughout the year, Transmission & Distribution (T&D) employees engage in various activities at schools and events, ranging from electrical safety board presentations to high voltage demonstrations and building simple motors or practicing line locating.

In 2023 alone, our T&D group alone compiled some impressive statistics:

  • 5,600 students
  • 153 schools
  • 5 electrical safety presentations
  • 4 STEAM events
  • 1 college and career event
  • 1 large community event, Southern Arizona Construction Career Days

In November, the Southern Arizona Construction Career Days event brought in students from 147 schools to the Kino Sports Complex where they interacted with various companies and organizations, including employees from 19 TEP departments.

Classroom Lessons

Our Energy Efficiency team also sends educators to classrooms for lessons on energy-efficiency practices, electrical safety and renewable energy.

Our lessons align with state standards and are suited to specific grade levels, ranging from second grade through high school. Last year, we served:

  • 4,425 students in SafetyLand, which teaches second graders about electrical safety through an interactive board game.
  • 7,200 students in Bright Students, which instructs fourth through eighth graders about energy awareness.
  • 2,576 students in Renewable Students, which informs high school students about the science and history of renewable energy.

Bright Students participants receive kits with energy-saving products, including night lights and aerators, to make it easy for students to take practical steps in their homes and lives.

Donations for Teachers and Students

TEP also exands educational opportunities through financial contributions to local schools and organizations that support students and teachers.

In 2023, we contributed to about 40 organizations with education missions, making a $323,000 investment in children’s futures.

Our largest donations included:

  • The Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation, or SARSEF, for the annual regional science fair and education programs.
  • Junior Achievement of Arizona for financial literacy and career readiness.
  • Tucson Values Teachers for classroom support and event sponsorship.
  • STEMAzing Summer Institute for teacher training.

Back to School Events

Visit us in the community this month as we help prepare students and families to return to classes.

  • See us at the Back to School Bash at Quincie Douglas Center on July 13 from 8-10 a.m.
  • Join us on July 20 at the El Pueblo Neighborhood Center for the Backpack Event from 8-10 a.m. by the Ward 5 City Council Office. Free backpacks and school supplies will be available while supplies last.
  • Meet mascot PowerCAT at the Back to School Bash at the Dunbar Pavilion on July 31 from 5-7 p.m.

This story is part of our ongoing series highlighting TEP’s philanthropic focus areas. From July through September, we focus on education. TEP works with nonprofit partners to develop invitation-based donation requests for community assistance efforts. Funds come from corporate resources, not customers’ rates. Learn more about education support.

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