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News Release

TECO Energy receives top honors from INROADS for outstanding community support

TAMPA, August 10, 1998

INROADS/Tampa Bay Area, Inc., an organization which prepares minority youth for careers in business, has honored TECO Energy, Inc. with two of its top awards: The Chartered Sponsor award and INROADS' 10th Year Salute. The Chartered Sponsor award is given to companies that have sponsored summer internships for college-bound minority students since the Tampa chapter of the national organization began a decade ago. INROADS' 10th Year Salute recognizes the outstanding community support that TECO Energy employees have given to the organization over the past 10 years.

TECO Energy was selected as a leading corporate sponsor dedicated to growing the partnership that exists between INROADS, the community and local corporations. The company was cited for the expert training, counseling and support provided by its employees over the past 10 years.

"We strongly support INROADS' approach to coaching and nurturing as an invaluable service to interns and sponsors," said Girard F. Anderson, TECO Energy's chairman and chief executive officer. "These awards are a wonderful tribute to our people and is further evidence of TECO Energy's commitment to our community."

Larry Sargent, INROADS/Tampa Bay Area, Inc.'s managing director, said the growth of the INROADS program is due to the continued support of the community and local corporations like TECO Energy.

"Our program connects talent with opportunity. The emphasis is on establishing long-term relationships between the best, brightest minority students with the best and brightest that corporate America has to offer. We consider TECO Energy to be a leader in that category."

INROADS' program is designed to provide four years of training to students, primarily through internships with major corporations. Students entering the program are typically graduating high school seniors planning to attend a 4-year college or university and pursue careers in business or engineering.

Students must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and score at least an 800 on the SAT to be eligible for entry into the program. The goal after graduation from college is a permanent position with the student's sponsor company.

Currently, 85 students are participating in INROADS/Tampa Bay Area Inc.'s internship program. About 350 students are interviewed annually. Approximately 90 are selected to enter a six-week training course, which provides hands-on instruction covering everything from appropriate dress for an interview to application of makeup for young women. On average, about 51 new students are placed with sponsor corporations each year.

"The INROADS sponsorship with Tampa Electric has been a very positive experience for me," commented Jarvis Bunts, a senior in Florida A&M University's School of Business and Industry interning in Tampa Electric's Telecommunications Department. "In the past two summers, I've worked on a number of major projects which have given me the real world experience I'll need to enter the workplace in 2000."

INROADS has provided leadership training to approximately 7,000 college interns in 51 affiliates around the world. Currently, more than 913 participating corporations and professional firms underwrite internships and provide on-the-job work experiences in their career fields. Today, more than 6,500 graduates are pursuing professional and technical careers in business and industry.

TECO Energy is a diversified energy-related holding company headquartered in Tampa. Its principal businesses are Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas, TECO Transport, TECO Coal, , TECO Coalbed Methane, TECO Power Services and Bosek, Gibson and Associates.

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