October 11, 2013

By MICKEY POWELL - Martinsville Bulletin Staff Writer

The Dominion Foundation on Friday awarded a $40,000 grant for the New College Institute’s (NCI) Academy for Engineering and Technology.

The donation was made to the New College Foundation, NCI’s private fundraising arm, during a ceremony at the institute’s new building under construction on the Baldwin Block in uptown Martinsville.

When it is completed next year, the building will house the academy.

The donation will go toward the academy’s operations, officials said.

The Dominion Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, which provides electricity to much of Virginia.

The academy prepares high school students to enroll in higher education programs related to engineering and technology or to seek entry-level jobs after they graduate with manufacturers using technology.

Paul Koonce, chief executive officer of Dominion Virginia Power, said the company needs workers with advanced technology skills, and it hopes to hire future employees from among students who graduate from NCI programs.

Although it does not provide electricity to Henry County or Martinsville, Dominion has a presence in the city.

In The Clock Tower at Commonwealth Centre, Faneuil Inc. operates a call center for Dominion customers who want to connect or disconnect service. That center now has 170 employees, according to Koonce.

NCI will not be directly involved in training employees for the call center.

Further details of Dominion’s contribution to NCI will be reported in the Martinsville Bulletin on Sunday.