The APS Foundation announced today the grant recipients for its first funding distribution of 2015. Education grants awarded to 17 nonprofits located throughout the state of Arizona and the Four Corners area totaled more than $1.4 million.

The Y received a $20,000 grant for Science Thursday at the YMCA. This program will introduce a weekly one-hour STEM-related project at nine after-school childcare sites in the Valley and Yuma, serving about 345 underserved children monthly.

Since 2012, the APS Foundation has been committed to supporting nonprofits that advance knowledge in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other educational initiatives that will help keep the next generation of Arizona’s workforce strong and competitive. Studies show that Arizona students have a low proficiency ranking in STEM subjects compared to students in the rest of the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 30 fastest-growing occupations (projected through 2016) more than half require mastery within STEM subjects, making Arizona’s low ranking an issue for the future of high-paying jobs in the state.

“We have a number of organizations doing great work in the STEM areas,” said Tina Marie Tentori, Executive Director of the APS Foundation. “These grants will serve to move their efforts forward in the community and help create an educated workforce that is better prepared to serve our state in the future.”

Story courtesy of APS