As the temperatures cool and the leaves turn, students across the U.S. are hitting the books again in person. Education is not just a prerequisite to enter the workforce, but an important investment in their futures. Across the country, EPSA member companies are supporting these students in a variety of ways, with programs that both help to develop the workforce of the future and give back to the communities where they operate.
Students build a robotic vehicle in a science lesson. EPSA members support STEM students through efforts including Shell’s Regional Lab Challenge and more. Credit: iStock/monkeybusinessimages
Here are some of the ways that competitive power producers are giving back to their area schools and students this fall:
Supporting Elementary Education
Lower income families may struggle to afford school supplies and other learning materials that their children need. To help address this problem, EPSA members are supporting local drives to provide needed school supplies to elementary school students.
- In Houston, Shell was a key supporter of the 12th Annual Back to School Fest, which provided 25,000 backpacks with school supplies to elementary school students.
- LS Power (LSP) employees in New Jersey volunteered at an area elementary school, painting murals on the walls and lines for recess games outside. Additionally, LSP provided funds for an elementary school program focused on health and conflict resolution in Ohio, as well as an ABC Create program at a school in Pennsylvania. Further, both the LSP New York and New Jersey offices provided backpacks with school supplies to students in need.
- Partnering with United Way Dallas, Vistra Corp. sponsored a school supply drive for students and teachers at Lincoln High School and James Madison High School in Dallas. Vistra also helped with a “stock the school” event where volunteers helped to remodel, organize, and clean the school before the start of the school year.
In addition to supporting local schools, these companies are focusing on the needs of disadvantaged students, investing in their futures through funding college scholarships.
- LS Power company Rise Light & Power created a $25,000 Community Scholarship for rising 5th graders at Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astoria & Woodside Houses.
- NRG Energy announced the creation of a new scholarship program to support black students attending either Prairie View A&M University or Texas Southern University. The program awarded ten $10,000 scholarships to help students with tuition and other expenses.
- Vistra sponsors an annual scholarship at the University of Texas at Arlington to help first-generation college students.
- Although Tenaska has already awarded more than $900,000 in scholarships to students who live in the communities where its plants operate, the company expanded its scholarship program in 2021 and continued it this year. Tenaska now offers three additional annual awards to students attending public high schools near Tenaska’s corporate headquarters in Omaha and its Dallas regional offices.
- Through its subsidiary, Champion Energy, Calpine Corp. awarded three Texas high school seniors with scholarships, continuing a program that has run for the past eight years.
Support for education is not limited to contributions of in-kind resources or monetary assistance. Many competitive power producers also work to support programs in science, technology, math, and engineering—all subjects that are used each day in their industry. Through partnerships with area schools, many of these companies bring real-world experience into the classroom, investing in tomorrow’s workforce today.
- A longtime sponsor of the National Science Teachers Association, the Shell Regional Lab Challenge provides science lab resources to area schools. Shell has also created educational resources for educators and students, which it offers online. These include quizzes and other materials to help teachers bring engineering to life in the classroom.
- STEM education is also a key focus for Vistra. The company partners with K-12 programs that have a strong STEM focus along with education foundations and scholarships broadly related to environmental education and power generation.
Education is the baseline of the nation’s future. With the school year well underway, EPSA commends our members for their support towards education. Through volunteering, supporting and funding scholarship programs, and providing educational resources and materials for schools nationwide, EPSA’s member companies continue to aid in serving tomorrow’s workforce: the students of today.