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Progress Energy Joins Enable America in North Carolina Expansion

Enable America, the non-profit devoted to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, is expanding operations in Raleigh and North Carolina. Progress Energy, which has been proactive in supporting and developing a diverse workforce, is joining Enable America as their official local partner.

Raleigh, NC, September 26, 2009 --( Progress Energy is joining Enable America as a local partner in Raleigh and Wake County, furthering efforts of the non-profit organization to empower people with disabilities to achieve independence through employment.

“We support Enable America’s efforts to identify and alleviate significant barriers to employment, social inclusion and civic engagement for people with disabilities,” said John McArthur, Executive Vice President of Progress Energy. McArthur also serves as the executive sponsor of the company’s Progress Inclusion and Disabilities Education employee program (PRIDE), an employee network group, which was formed with the assistance of Enable America.

“We believe that business success, for us or any company, is enhanced by a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace that values and respects everyone, and engages the unique differences, perspectives, experiences and abilities that all people have,” McArthur said.

“Progress Energy’s strong support for people with disabilities and their leadership sets an example for others to follow,” said Richard Salem, founder and CEO of Enable America. “All of us with Enable America are proud to be a part of the Progress Energy team as we expand opportunities for people with disabilities to live the American dream.”

Since January Enable America has been building alliances with local companies. A number of prominent Raleigh organizations have already agreed to participate in Disability Mentoring Day programs in October. In addition to Progress Energy, The Royal Bank of Canada, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Rex HealthCare, WakeMed, SAS, and the Carolina Hurricanes have all signed up.

“The disability mentoring program will help us raise awareness of the diverse talents of people with disabilities,” McArthur said. “The program also will help us better understand how our company benefits by building and sustaining an inclusive workplace in which all employees are treated fairly, individual differences are respected and included, and teamwork and trust are promoted.”

In addition to employee mentoring programs, Enable America will also organize community connection forums, designed to bring local leaders, lawmakers, employers and service providers together to learn and share success stories. These meetings are an important step in building a bridge between those with disabilities, and their community.

Other successful programs launched by Enable America include VetConnect, which is dedicated to helping wounded warriors re-acclimate to civilian life, by pairing them with veterans who have faced similar challenges. Since 2007, more than two-hundred wounded warriors and their families have been served by VetConnect mentors across the country. Another successful venture is Team Enable, which encourages physical fitness by people of all abilities, providing structure and support to organize activities.

Enable America will hold a community celebration of Disability Mentoring Day at the downtown Marriott, on the morning of October 21, which is open to the public. To learn more about the event, please call Enable America at (877) 362-2533.


About Progress Energy: Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve approximately 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008.

About Enable America: Enable America was established in 2002 by attorney Richard Salem as a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment and live independently. The organization’s Community Connections, Business Connections, and VetConnect programs unite members of the disability community and business community to raise awareness and increase employment opportunities for the 54 million Americans with disabilities, including our nation’s wounded warriors.
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Chris Jadick

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