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Alstom Foundation will support the Brevard Zoo to build a play venue for children with autism and sensory disorders

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The Alstom Foundation has selected the Brevard Zoo as one of the beneficiaries of its 2017 funding. The Brevard Zoo project represents the first U.S.-based organization to be supported by the foundation, and is one among 17 other projects across all continents with a particular focus on employability, welfare and childrens education that the Alstom Foundation will support this year. 

The Alstom Foundations donation, as well as local Alstom volunteers, will help the Brevard Zoo create a dedicated learning and recreational venue designed to accommodate youth with autism and other special needs in an environment that is accessible, safe and welcoming. The construction of a dedicated learning and recreational facility will allow children to meet and discover more than 800 animals representing 180 species from all over the world and to explore nature without the distraction of other visitors. When complete, it is expected that approximately 1,400 children with autism and special needs will benefit from the play venue each year.

David McKay, Alstom Vice President for Freight and Mining, and a long-time Brevard County resident, is the Alstom Project Sponsor and will serve as a liaison between the Alstom Foundation and the Zoo. I have been an admirer of the education and ecological work the Brevard Zoo has been doing with younger generations for many years. They now want to expand their outreach to even more children, and Alstom is very proud to be a part of this great initiative, he said.  

This support from the Alstom Foundation will bring to life specially designed spaces that allow children with a variety of challenges to comfortably and safely explore wild places at the Zoo.  This in turn will help these families build lifelong connections to nature, added Keith Winsten, Brevard Zoos Executive Director.  

The Alstom Foundation has already funded a total of 151 projects across 52 countries. With a budget of $1 million per year, the Alstom Foundation supports and funds projects proposed by Alstoms employees who team up with local partners and not-for-profit organizations to carry out initiatives aimed at improving living conditions in communities located near the Alstoms facilities and project sites around the world. 

In Melbourne, FL, Alstom has 200 employees developing signaling solutions for a variety of freight and passenger railway companies such as All Aboard Florida, Amtrak, BNSF, Caltrain, Metrolinx. Alstom also has offices in Jacksonville, FL, and more than 2,000 employees working throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Florida team specializes in train control solutions and trackside signaling products, designed to make railroad operations safer.