While 2020 brought challenges we couldn’t imagine a year ago, it also delivered new opportunities for us to roll up our sleeves, put on our masks and find new ways to serve our customers and communities. We’ve drastically changed how we work, how we learn and how we help the community. We’ve also been imaginative and nimble in how we faced the historic challenges 2020 delivered to our collective doorstep  

Let’s take a look back at some of our wins in the community in 2020. 

Pandemic relief efforts 

The DTE Foundation awarded more than $22 million in COVID-19 relief funding to nonprofits and communities statewide. These critical funds helped more than 500,000 families with basic needs, provided more than 3,000 meals and delivered more than 2 million KN95 masks to first responders who desperately needed personal protective equipment in the early weeks and months of the pandemic – when supplies were extremely limited and in high demand. 

The DTE Foundation also awarded $1 million in grants to all 45 domestic violence shelters funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to help alleviate the significant financial and operational stress the shelter system has sustained due to COVID-19. These grants will better position shelters to meet the unique needs of domestic violence survivors during the pandemic, and to continue to provide the sanctuary, resources and support survivors need to find hope, build resiliency and heal.   

In May, Detroit launched Detroit Means Business, with helpful tools and tips to help small businesses. The website, including playbooks, details everything from testing of employees to social distancing best practices and PPE. The DTE Foundation donated over 3,400 kits to Detroit businesses, 1,200 through the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, 500 kits in Ann Arbor, 500 kits in Grand Rapids and 300 kits in Muskegon to help keep employees and customers safe as they reopen. Learn more about our COVID-19 efforts at DTEimpact.com/covidcommunity 

We also reached out to regions where we have gas storage units and donated funds to community foundations and United Way agencies in West Virginia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio to help support local needs 

Thank you to all who gave their time, energy and donations to these efforts. You’ve made a generous impact in your community. 

Positioning students to learn, grow and thrive  

We’re also proud to say we played a leading role in bridging the digital divide for Detroit schoolchildren by leading the Connected Futures coalition alongside the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Connected Futures put tablets equipped with high-speed Internet connectivity into the hands of all 51,000 K-12 students in the district, allowing them to access classes and schoolwork remotely. Learn more here 

We continued to help students throughout the year. Co-ops transitioned to work-from-home with most office workers in the company. And as we looked ahead to the summer, we knew we had to continue to provide meaningful work opportunities to youth. We pivoted our internship program to virtual–creating a toolkit along the way that other companies can use. This year, we provided over 750  work opportunities for college and high school students at DTE. Please take a moment to hear from one Detroit summer student about his experience and a law student who worked remotely this summer.  

Thank you to all the mentors, leaders and co-workers who made students’ time here at DTE a memorable experience.