HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Reliant, an NRG company, announced a $500,000 commitment to the City of Houston’s “Complete Communities” initiative to support the Bethune Empowerment Center (BEC), a centralized workforce and economic development hub in the Acres Homes community. The donation will support the project construction to ensure the BEC is completed by December 2022.
“As the City of Houston works to build employment and economic opportunities in historically neglected neighborhoods, we value the support of corporate partners. Reliant’s investment in the Bethune Empowerment Center will be life-changing for people who live in Complete Communities,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “Once the renovations are completed, I am confident the BEC will be transformational for families and individuals who aspire to live in a more equitable and prosperous city.”
The Complete Communities Initiative is focused on improving neighborhoods that have historically been underserved and under-resourced. These neighborhoods represent the great strengths, opportunities and partners who are working collectively to create equity and attract investment, while ensuring that current residents can remain in affordable homes.
Mayor Sylvester Turner will join Reliant and community leaders on Saturday to unveil renovation plans for BEC, showcasing renderings of the building and ceremonially breaking ground for construction to begin on this impactful project.
The Bethune Empowerment Center is an adaptive reuse of the existing Bethune Academy, an approximate 8-acre tract of land previously serving as an elementary school in the Aldine Independent School District (AISD). The Center will serve as a business incubator and vocational entity for the Acres Homes neighborhood. It will provide Acres Homes residents with access to quality services and amenities, including job training, apprenticeships, skill-building services, small business resources, co-working spaces and business incubators.
“At Reliant, we’re committed to powering change in the communities where we live and work by supporting impactful projects like Bethune Empowerment Center,” said Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant. “By tapping the strengths of our community members, nonprofits, businesses, and philanthropic partners, together, we can build a stronger and more resilient city for future generations.”
Alongside its support services, BEC will provide local residents with a community garden, including a number of fruit trees, and a farmers market, which will be relocated to the center upon its completion. Within the center, a professional-grade kitchen will be available for local businesses to rent, housing state-of-the-art equipment and providing a community-centered area to host cooking classes for local residents.
Reliant has been an active supporter of the Acres Homes community for many years through their Beat the Heat program and is now strengthening this commitment to support progress in local communities through this partnership with the City’s Complete Communities Initiative.
About Reliant, an NRG company
Reliant powers, protects and simplifies life by bringing electricity, security and related services to homes and businesses across Texas. Serving customers and the community is at the core of what we do, and the company is recognized nationally for outstanding customer experience. Reliant is part of NRG, a Fortune 500 company that creates value by generating electricity and providing energy solutions to nearly 6 million residential, small business and commercial customers across the U.S. and Canada. NRG’s competitive residential electricity business, which includes Reliant, is one of the largest in the country. For more information about Reliant, visit reliant.com and connect with Reliant on Facebook at facebook.com/reliantenergy and Twitter or Instagram @reliantenergy. PUCT Certificate #10007.