Project C - investing in our neighborhoods and communities
So this is New York. This is where I was born. This is where I was raised. This is where I still live. Actually, when I was twelve years old I volunteered here at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. One of the things that my parents always stressed with myself and my siblings was that, you know, life isn’t transactional. You form relationships, you get connected to a family unit, you get connected to a community. Whatever it is, you’ve got to give back to it, and hopefully you leave it all better than the way you found it.
The Brooklyn Union Gas Company had a program called “The Cinderella Project” and the company would donate grants to developments, to houses that were improving a neighborhood. And to this day you speak to people and they have such a warm feeling about it. You know, you see their emotional connection, you see people smile when they say it. Those are some of the things we’re going to be bringing back. Those are some of the things that made us. Those are some of the things that are going to set us on a really great positioning for the future as well. When I look at New York today, we’re coming out of a pandemic, there’s an economic downturn, there’s some unemployment. But for those different challenges we need a new version of that Cinderella Project, and that’s what we’re calling Project C.
It’s a commitment to community, it’s a commitment to a partnership, it’s a commitment where you keep your promises.
We’ve got the opportunity to go one step further. We have an opportunity to have, I think, a greater impact on all of our communities.
I think that that’s what we all want. We want to be heard, we want to contribute, we want to be productive, and we want to have purpose.
National Grid has been an incredible partner in downtown Syracuse’s revitalization. There’s not a property we can think of where National Grid was not involved in some capacity.
What we really wanted to do was create a place where everyone could start their own small businesses to really grow opportunities for people around the food and hospitality industry. Just getting the students inside of the Salt City Market, to be able to teach in here with these professional chefs, it’s boosting their confidence level up. They feel like they can do anything at this point.
We have to have equity, so the importance of partnering together to provide that access to workforce development opportunities and then gain employment with National Grid or some of National Grid’s partners. I’m proud of that.
We have worked with National Grid to provide this trades camp, which helps kids understand some of the job opportunities in the utility industry.
The work that National Grid is focused on in terms of supporting and advocating for environmental justice and actually achieving it is critically important for the overall equity opportunity in New York.
When we get a chance to see a glimpse of hope and excitement and motivation from our kids and from our families. That is the gas that encourages us to continue to do what we do every day.
We see change happening. We see buildings being built, we see opportunities for our youth, we’re seeing our crime rate go down. So it’s kind of like a collective effort. I appreciate everything National Grid has done, and hopefully we can do more.
Project C is all about collaborating. It’s about collaborating with our customers, our community partners, our energy developers. All in an effort to make sure that we usher in a fair and an equitable energy transition across New York State.
I am so proud and so excited to be leading this business, and more importantly, leading my colleagues to do some great things in this community. National Grid is ready to rewrite the future, and Project C is at the heart of it. So I’m asking everyone to join me in making it happen.