PITTSBURGH, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As participants in Pennsylvania's Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs, Highmark Inc. subsidiaries awarded more than $2.3 million in grants in 2014 to organizations with educational programs that benefit students across the Commonwealth.
Highmark subsidiaries that fund the grants through the EITC and OSTC programs are Davis Vision, HM Casualty Insurance Company, HM Health Insurance Company, Keystone Health Plan West and United Concordia Life and Health Insurance Company. A total of 123 organizations are benefiting from this year's grants.
Summer Dean, director of development for the Crossroads Foundation in Pittsburgh said, "Highmark's EITC support allows Crossroads Foundation to provide the tools that will enable academically and socially vulnerable adolescents to excel in high school, attend college and go on to fulfill their dreams for successful futures. Over the past 25 years, 456 students have graduated from our program and successfully matriculated to college—the vast majority are first-generation college students."
Highmark companies' $2.3 million in grants was awarded as $250,000 for educational improvement, more than $1.13 million for scholarship programs, $662,224 for pre-kindergarten scholarships and $300,000 for Pennsylvania's Opportunity Scholarship Organizations.
The EITC program is available to Pennsylvania businesses paying any one of six specific state taxes and applying for participation to the program's administrator, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
Since beginning their participation in the EITC program in 2006, Highmark companies have provided more than 1,200 grants. The grants fall into three categories: education improvement, scholarship programs and pre-kindergarten scholarships. This is the first year of Highmark companies' participation in the OSTC program.
"Each Highmark company believes it has a responsibility to improve the communities of its members, and we can think of no better way to do that than through education," said Dan Onorato, executive vice president of Highmark's parent company, Highmark Health. "By participating in Pennsylvania's EITC and OSTC programs, Highmark companies are funding highly capable educational organizations that are fulfilling innovative, high-impact programs to positively change the lives of children and youth."
Highmark and its subsidiaries paid $64.4 million in Pennsylvania taxes in 2013, including $4.3 million in county and municipal taxes.
SOURCE Highmark Inc.