Avista Invests $200,000 in Spokane STEM Network as a Founding Partner

(SPOKANE, Wash.) – Spokane STEM today announced it has received a $200,000 investment from Avista, a founding partner of the Network. The partnership allows Spokane STEM to implement key initiatives crucial to the network's mission of improving teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and math in the region.
The Spokane STEM Network, a collaborative effort of early learning, K-12, higher education, business and community organizations, works to transform the way we think, learn, work, and live through STEM (science technology, engineering and math) by enhancing STEM education opportunities for all youth in the region and by increasing the number of students pursuing and achieving success in STEM careers.
"Spokane and Washington State are built on a STEM-based economy. Avista's investment in the Spokane STEM Network is significant and creates momentum to grow understanding and interest in STEM and most importantly, to engage our students in STEM learning and the pursuit of STEM careers," said Alisha Benson, executive director for Spokane STEM and vice president, education and workforce for Greater Spokane Incorporated.
Avista's founding partnership with Spokane STEM will help ensure that high-quality STEM education opportunities are available to all students in the region and that more students are completing coursework preparing them to work in STEM-related careers. It also allows for a more focused approach to creating and supporting STEM opportunities in the region.
"Our investment into Spokane STEM makes sense as the Network provides a focused approach to creating, growing and supporting STEM opportunities in our region. As a STEM employer, we see first-hand the need to attract and engage more students in STEM and develop the skills necessary for today's workforce. This important work takes investment from the private sector to meet the workforce needs and, ultimately, drive the economic growth and vitality of our region," said Scott Morris, chairman, president and CEO of Avista Corp.
Avista has also invested $25,000 in Washington STEM to further STEM education across the state. STEM Networks have been created in six other regions around the state: Mid-Columbia (Tri-Cities), Snohomish, South Central (Yakima), South King County, Southwest Washington, and West Sound (Bremerton). The Networks are charged with creating unified systems of STEM education, fostering partnerships, aligning resources, and increasing impact in their own communities.
About Avista
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is the operating division that provides electric service to 365,000 customers and natural gas to 325,000 customers. Its service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Alaska Energy and Resources Company is an Avista subsidiary that provides retail electric service in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, through its subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com. Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
About the Spokane STEM Network
Spokane STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is a regional nonprofit network of leaders from early learning and K-12 education, the business community, higher education and community-based organizations that serves as a catalyst for advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning and innovation. Launched in May of 2012, it is one of seven STEM networks statewide working in collaboration with Washington STEM to revitalize STEM education. The work of Spokane STEM is supported by Greater Spokane Incorporated in partnership with the NorthEast Washington Education Service District 101, and supports broad educational attainment initiatives designed to prepare our region's youth to enter competitive 21st Century careers. Learn more at www.spokanestem.org.
About Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the Spokane region's Chamber and Economic Development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881. GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic and workforce development, public policy and small business. GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors; Spokane County; Washington State Department of Commerce; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Airway Heights, Medical Lake, Newport, Deer Park, and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. For more information, visit www.greaterspokane.org or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1-800-SPOKANE.