ATLANTA – Georgia Power Co.’s nonprofit foundation announced an investment of $500,000 Wednesday toward helping remove barriers to employment and housing for Georgians with criminal records.

The grant, part of a $75 million commitment the foundation made in May toward advancing racial equity and social justice, will be used to help implement a new law that makes it easier to expunge criminal records in certain circumstances.

The legislation, which passed the General Assembly unanimously last year and took effect last Jan. 1, expands the ability to seal criminal records for about 1.5 million Georgians who now have access to record restriction for the first time.

It applies to those arrested when there has been a final disposition to their cases other than a conviction or a certain time period and conditions have been met since a conviction.

“We are proud to support this initiative that will help citizens working hard to be self-sufficient,” said Mike Anderson, senior vice president of Georgia Power and president and CEO of the Georgia Power Foundation.

“Our commitment to this important work … is one way that we can make a real impact to help both individuals and our state.”

The foundation’s grant will go to the Georgia Justice Project, which for 35 years has served Georgians impacted by the criminal justice system.

“Many rehabilitated Georgians are now eligible to seal a conviction history to remove barriers to employment, housing and other opportunities,” said Brenda Smeeton, Georgia Justice Project’s legal director. “But a new law is only effective if the people who need it most can access it, and this grant will allow us to host expungement desks and events around the state.”