COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 1, 2009 – For the third consecutive year, American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has been named the most “adoption-friendly workplace” in the energy and utilities sector by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
AEP reimburses employees up to $3,000 per child for eligible adoption-related expenses and provides up to 40 hours of paid leave for new adoptive parents. Thirty-one employees have benefited from AEP’s Adoption Assistance program since early 2007.
“We recognize the value to our employees, and to AEP, of offering programs that promote work/life balance,” said Mary Cofer, AEP’s director of diversity and culture. “Helping our employees defray the costs of adopting children is one way we can be family-friendly, particularly in today’s challenging economic times.
“We’re very honored to be recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation again this year,” Cofer said.
Information from nearly 800 employers nationwide was used to compile the foundation’s annual rankings of adoption-friendly workplaces. The rankings are based on the maximum amount of financial reimbursement and paid leave per adoption.
In addition to AEP, the list of the top five energy/utility companies for 2009 includes El Paso Corp., BHP Billiton, PJM Interconnection and Marathon Oil.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a non-profit, public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing adoptions of the more than 150,000 children in North America’s foster care systems. The late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s Restaurants and an adopted child, created the foundation in 1992.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as 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’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.