The Navajo Transitional Energy Co. has made $200,000 available to help nonprofits and Navajo Nation chapters

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FARMINGTON — The Navajo Transitional Energy Co. is accepting applications for its Community Benefit Fund, which is geared toward helping nonprofit organizations and Navajo Nation chapters.

NTEC announced in a press release Friday it has made $200,000 available to fund community-based projects that focus on at least one of four categories: education or youth development; environment; energy, sustainability or renewable; and economic development.

Steve Grey, director of external and governmental affairs at NTEC, said in the release that the categories "are a reflection of the pillars of NTEC."

After two years of partnering with BHP Billiton New Mexico Coal to provide the Community Investment Fund to help nonprofit organizations, area schools and chapter houses, this is the first year the tribal enterprise is overseeing the program on its own.

The fund's name has been adjustment, and the application process has been revised, including the addition of a question about how projects would benefit Native Americans and Navajos, NTEC spokesman Erny Zah said.

NTEC hosted a two-hour workshop on Aug. 31 at San Juan College to explain the fund's purpose and the application process, according to the release.

"We are happy to have our first Community Benefit Fund workshop, and witnessing the overwhelming response, it is obvious that a need exists, and we want to help the organizations that provide for the Navajo people," Grey said in the release.

Information about the fund and the application process can be found under the "NTEC Community Benefit Fund" tab on the NTEC website, navajo-tec.com.

Applications are due at 4 p.m. Sept. 30 and can be emailed to ntec@navajo-tec.com, submitted through the company's website or delivered in person to 205 N. Auburn Ave. in Farmington.

If the organization does not have access to a computer or to the Internet, they can use a computer at NTEC's office to complete the application, Zah said.

Applications will not be accepted by mail or by fax.

For more information about the fund, contact Erny Zah at 505-278-8640 or erny.zah@navajo-tec.com or Melissa Kelly at 505-427-6190 or melissa.kelly@navajo-tec.com.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.

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