A closer look at Junior Achievement’s Careers In Energy Program

Earlier this month, two newspapers ran stories concerning Junior Achievement bringing energy specific education into the classroom. Interestingly, even though both stories were about Junior Achievement’s Careers in Energy program, they portrayed my company, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, in very different lights.  One story is positive while the other provides the chance to explain even more about what Cabot is accomplishing in partnership with Junior Achievement.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s coverage by Anya Litvak describes the Careers in Energy program and recognizing the strengths and success this kind of education is having on our youth. The other article, written by Kent Jackson of the greater Hazelton area’s Standard Speaker and Citizens Voice, rarely mentions Junior Achievement.  Instead it spends a good part of the article quoting school board members who express concern over the industry, specifically Cabot teaching in the classroom.

, the program’s success, and Cabot’s growing role in education.
  • Careers in Energy was created by Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania in partnership with the energy industry. Like most of its programs, Junior Achievement did receive funding for the energy industry but this in no way perpetuated any biases about one particular energy source. In fact within the first three lessons students learn about the positives and negatives of each energy source, including natural gas from shale.
  • Like the majority of all its programs, Junior Achievement relies heavily on volunteers from industries relevant to each program to teach the programs class room. This formula exposes students to experience and expertise otherwise impossible to create from books or middle and high-school teachers. Obviously students will learn more about financial literacy from an accountant and more about structural design from an architect.
  • Careers in Energy has been extremely successful in western, PA, with over 1300 student participants. It has even received national recognition for its merits. During this initial rollout over 100 volunteers from the energy industry went into the classroom to teach and answer questions. Obviously a big reason for this success.
  • Earlier this year, Careers in Energy was test piloted in Susquehanna County, PA, in partnership with the Northern Tier Education Consortium. Two schools, Elk Lake and Montrose, were brought together for a one day, expedited session of the program. Representatives from Chesapeake Energy, Somerset Regional Water Resources, Rain for Rent, Leatherstocking Natural Gas Company, Marcellus Shale Coalition and Cabot were present from the natural gas industry to teach the program. Also present were PPL Electric, UGI Utilities, Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative, Diaz Companies, ARM Group, and BF Environmental others to discuss nuclear, wind, solar and geothermal energy sources. The program was herald as a huge success by educators from both schools and the industry participants.
Now, let’s discuss Cabot’s participation in education throughout the region.
  • To date, Cabot has provided $200,000 in scholarship funds to the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center plus additional funding to Rachael’s Challenge.
  • Cabot has partnered with other energy firms to present Shale Rocks, a quick but informative overview of shale rock, natural gas, and the extraction process.
  • Cabot has participated in numerous career and education fairs including Vehicular Career Day presented by Northern Tier Education Consortium.
  • There has been significant support for higher education institutions, too. Cabot is partnering with Lackawanna College and Johnson College to share industry know-how and leadership needed to help these programs establish natural gas and CNG education to northeastern Pennsylvania.  We’ve been grateful for the opportunity to donate things like new and used equipment as well as giving students plenty of access to drilling sites, producing well sites, compression facilities, etc. Much of the equipment donated is similar to what’s being used right now in the play, raising the quality hands-on experience for the students and ensuring they are ready to work after graduating. Our industry partners have joined in this endeavor, too.

Over the next school year Cabot and partner Junior Achievement will be teaching Careers in Energy at three different high schools in the northeast – four if the Hazelton school board approves it. While the implementation of this program will vary due to resources and location, students will always get the essence of the program: a chance to see what energy is, where it comes from and the many, many career opportunities that exist with each.

As someone employed by Cabot, I was happy with the positive article and even happier with the critical one since Cabot is proud of what it has accomplished and even prouder to tell people about it. I welcome any opportunity to educate adolescent and young adults on natural gas development, careers opportunities or the energy industry in general, especially when it’s through Junior Achievement’s Careers in Energy. I encourage anyone with questions, comments or concerns about this program to contact me through the #Ask Cabot icon found at wellsaidcabot.com.

On the same note Kevin Lynn, of Linde Corporation, also read these recent articles and wrote a letter regarding the program. Here is an excerpt from his letter:

THANKS FOR ASKING!  by Kevin Lynn, Linde Corporation

I’m glad that the Hazleton Area School Board is looking the Cabot Oil & Gas gift horse in the mouth.  I hope the board takes a careful look before accepting a single penny.  I assume they’ll examine what other monies Cabot has given to other school districts across the Commonwealth and what sorts of power and influence Cabot has been able to wield as a result.  Finally, I trust the news media will publish all the gory details showing what Cabot is really up to around here.

Click here to read the rest of Kevin’s letter.

Let’s Talk Susquehanna County!
Partnering with the Community Foundation for education
Bill desRosiers

Raised in Highland Falls, New York, William desRosiers learned about responsible resource development, firsthand, as a part of his family's mining business. William received his B.S. in Management, B.A.in History and MBA from Misericordia University. He currently serves in External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. His primary responsibilities include strengthening media relationships, managing company-run fundraising programs, building better community relations and representing Cabot every chance he has.

Comments 6

  1. Bill,

    Another point you can make to folks who may doubt Cabot’s motivations, facts, etc. follows.

    One way to insure responsible stewardship of our natural resources is to encourage local folks to join the industry and take a hand in shaping the development efforts. We can assume that no one cares more about our local environment, than local folks. Rather than “keeping youngsters in the dark”, we are encouraging them to learn about the industry and get involved. Cabot is committed to safe and responsible resource development and has been very transparent in their dealings with the public.

    Pete Butler
    Executive Director
    NTIEC – “Your School to Career Connection”

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