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Three Newport News Corporations Reaffirm $500,000 Commitment to Education and Workforce Development

Christine Clemente 
Communications & Community Engagement Supervisor
cclemente@bayportcu.org or 757.873.4076


Announces Second Accelerating Change Together Grant Application Funding

The BayPort Foundation, Ferguson, and Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of HII, have announced a community partnership to fund a three-year, $500,000 transformational grant called Accelerating Change Together (ACT). The grant will run from 2024 to 2026 and aims to invest in the Hampton Roads nonprofit community to build upon education and develop a skilled workforce that benefits the nation.

The ACT Grant was initially launched in 2022. The inaugural year's grant provided an instant lift in equipment funding, enabling the Virginia Beach Education Foundation and Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) to add a new two-year, half-day Advanced Technology Center Renewable Energy Technologies program.

“The initial results of our founding investment were more successful than we could have hoped. The sustainable VBCPS program switch from fiber optics to renewable energy prepares future-ready students to enter the workforce,” said Nancy Porter, VP of Marketing at BayPort Credit Union and Executive Director of the BayPort Foundation. “We are excited to support a second funding and help local nonprofits to dream of new ways to expand their programs and collaborate with others to make a positive change in the communities we serve.”

“This funding is vital, and Ferguson Cares is honored to be a part of the ACT Grant collaborative for the second year. Through this financial support, we’ll be able to supply the essential resources necessary for advancing our shared goal in fostering a strong workforce pipeline and increasing civic engagement,” said Melissa Hazelwood, Director of Social Impact at Ferguson.

“The ACT Grant builds on HII’s belief in educational support as the foundation of our nation’s security,” said Gary Artybridge, Manager of Corporate Citizenship & Education Outreach at Newport News Shipbuilding. “We proudly support various STEM education initiatives at elementary, middle, and high schools, and college programs that support our workforce development needs. The ACT Grant is an extension of that mission.”

Virginia Natural Gas has joined BayPort, Ferguson, and Newport News Shipbuilding in the 2024 funding launch and its education and workforce development mission. The ACT Grant extends the four companies’ existing charitable giving and social impact efforts.

The ACT Grant Contributions Committee will host a breakfast panel discussion on May 22 at the Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News. This event will discuss the ACT Grant process and answer questions about the application form. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2024. For additional information on the ACT Grant and eligibility requirements please visit actgrant.org.


About BayPort Foundation

BayPort Foundation is the charitable arm of BayPort Credit Union, headquartered in Newport News, Virginia and was established to extend the credit union’s philosophy of “people helping people.” The Foundation is an extension of the credit union’s charitable giving. BayPort Credit Union commits more than half a million dollars in annual corporate donations and pays all the Foundation’s overhead to ensure that 100% of the Foundation donations support its mission. For more information, visit bayportfoundation.org.

About Ferguson

Ferguson plc (NYSE: FERG; LSE: FERG) is a leading value-added distributor providing expertise, solutions and products from infrastructure, plumbing and appliances to HVAC, fire, fabrication and more. We exist to help make our customers’ complex projects simple, successful and sustainable. Ferguson is headquartered in the U.K., with operations in North America. For more information, please visit fergusonplc.com or follow Ferguson on LinkedIn.

About HII

HII is a global, all-domain defense provider. HII’s mission is to deliver the world’s most powerful ships and all- domain solutions in service of the nation, creating the advantage for our customers to protect peace and freedom around the world. As the nation’s largest military shipbuilder, and with a more than 135-year history of advancing U.S. national security, HII delivers critical capabilities extending from ships to unmanned systems, cyber, ISR, AI/ML and synthetic training. Headquartered in Virginia, HII’s workforce is 44,000 strong. For more information, please visit hii.com.

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