Progress Energy selected as one of the top 50 corporations for multicultural business opportunities

RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 21, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — Progress Energy has been named as one of America’s best companies for developing and increasing multicultural business opportunities by DiversityBusiness.com. Over 350,000 woman- and minority-owned businesses had the opportunity to vote in the 2004 online election to identify the best corporate and organizational buyers of products and services from diversity-owned businesses in the United States.

www.DiversityBusiness.com honored the company as one of 50 on its 2004 list of corporate and organizational buyers, called the Div50. Progress Energy is the top-ranked utility — and one of only two utilities — on the list. Other companies on the 2004 list include Bank of America, BellSouth Corp., UPS, Walt Disney Co., Microsoft, General Electric, Sempra Energy and Wachovia Corp.

DiversityBusiness.com represents the voices of diversity-owned (women, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Indians and other minority groups) businesses in the U.S., in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, food service and professional services.

“We are pleased that our Supplier Diversity & Business Development program is being recognized as a market leader and one of the top initiatives in the nation,” said Rodney Gaddy, vice president – corporate services at Progress Energy. “We remain committed to pursuing excellence in developing the growth of small businesses and minority- and woman-owned businesses and to increasing opportunities to do business with them.”

In 2004, Progress Energy was also named the regional Corporation of the Year by the Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC) and the Corporation of the Year by the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (FMSDC).

In 2003, Progress Energy established diversity goals throughout the organization, expanding its diversity business initiatives into nontraditional areas of the company. These efforts helped the company increase its diversity spending by 23 percent and resulted in multimillion dollar contracts to minority companies. Progress Energy also partnered with the developers of its new 18-story mixed-use building in downtown Raleigh to exceed its goal of 20 percent minority- and woman-owned business participation.

Progress Energy’s Supplier Diversity & Business Development program develops and increases the utilization of certified minority- and woman-owned businesses through the purchasing of products and services during the procurement process. Progress Energy’s process for enhancing the program includes identifying, evaluating and encouraging participation by certified minority- and woman-owned businesses in the bidding process, and supporting diversity efforts through outreach activities.

About Progress Energy [ www.progress-energy.com ]

Progress Energy , headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 diversified energy company with more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. The company’s holdings include two electric utilities serving approximately 2.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Progress Energy also includes nonregulated operations covering competitive generation, energy marketing, natural gas production, fuel extraction, rail services and broadband capacity.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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