press release

ChevronTexaco Contributes $1 Million to Los Angeles Literacy Programs

Alliance for a Better Community, the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Urban League Expand Programs to Improve Literacy Among Students and Adults

LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 16, 2005 -- ChevronTexaco Corp. today announced it is contributing $1 million to the Alliance for a Better Community (ABC) and the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles/Urban League partnership "WORK NOW" program to improve literacy rates in Los Angeles, which are among the lowest in the United States.

"Literacy and education are the starting points for improving economic opportunities. We are committed to helping children and young adults in Los Angeles gain the necessary literacy skills for lifelong success," said Gary Yesavage, general manager of the ChevronTexaco El Segundo Refinery.

According to a study conducted by the United Way, 65 percent of adults living on the Eastside have low literacy, 85 percent in South Los Angeles. The National Adult Literacy Survey reports that 42 million adult Americans cannot read and that $237 billion a year in unrealized earnings are forfeited by persons who lack basic reading skills.

"This grant will allow us to build on our existing foundation of programs that focus on improving workforce job readiness and literary skills in the areas of Los Angeles we serve. It will also augment programs designed specifically to improve education and job training for the constituents in our communities," said James Castillo, senior vice president of operations for the Los Angeles Urban League.

The ChevronTexaco grant was divided in half, with $500,000 going to the Literacy Network/Urban League partnership "WORK NOW" program and the other $500,000 allocated to ABC. ABC's focus is on student intervention and dropout prevention in Los Angeles high schools. Additionally, ABC will develop a media campaign about the merits of staying in school.

"Los Angeles has the largest population of Latinos, and we lose an estimated 60,000 Latino students every four years at the high school level. Nearly half of the students drop out during their senior year. With this grant, ChevronTexaco is helping us address the problem where it begins – in the schools – and the company is also aiding us in making this a community issue," said Veronica Melvin, executive director of ABC.

About ChevronTexaco:

ChevronTexaco's operations in Los Angeles date back to the early 1900s. ChevronTexaco Corp. is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 47,000 employees, ChevronTexaco conducts business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and refining, marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products. ChevronTexaco is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information on ChevronTexaco is available at

The Alliance for a Better Community (ABC) is a coalition promoting equity for Latinos in education, economic development and civic participation throughout the Los Angeles region. Their Saving our Student (SOS) program seeks to establish an in-school structure that will identify, encourage and help potential dropout students stay in school and meet their education requirements.

The Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization supporting and promoting individual, family, and workplace literacy efforts through networking, partnerships, resource-sharing, and public awareness.

The Los Angeles Urban League seeks to secure economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for minorities and other disadvantaged individuals in Los Angeles County in the areas of education, job training, and business assistance and economic development.

Updated: March 2005