Director, External Affairs
[Editor’s Note: Coterra Energy has made education support a top priority for several years now and is making a big difference in young students’ lives with its EITC funding.]
Coterra recently followed up with the administrators of a dozen Career and Technical Centers across Pennsylvania that received grants in the 2022-2023 school year in the form of Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC). Many of them are in remote areas of the state and provide an invaluable service to students in rural school districts.
Making A Difference
Overall, Coterra has been able to provide funds for 26 CTCs, small and large, since 2010. To date, more than $1.3 million in EITC grants have been distributed by Coterra in Pennsylvania to help students cover the costs of instructional material, testing supplies, uniforms, and certifications
CTC leaders gave us an overview of how many students were helped and the importance of the tax credits to offset out-of-pocket expenses for those seeking careers in industry and other trades.
“This contribution benefits students in need whom, without this outstanding and generous support, would find it very difficult to obtain the needed items to participate in their shop environment,” said Milanovich, executive director at Western Area Career & Technology Center in Canonsburg, where 14 students were helped with a $4,317 grant.
“If not for EITC funding, families would have to find another means to help pay for their child’s uniforms and tools, and maybe not get the best materials and fully participate in the program,” Eckenrode, administrative director at Adams County Technical Institute in Gettysburg, remarked.
Supporting Growth for the Energy Industry
According Eckenrode, the school has received $8,411 from Coterra since 2021, allowing them to provide assistance to 55 students in numerous fields of study, including Allied Health, Building Trades, Computer Networking, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Diesel Technology, and Early Learning.
Coterra’s EITC program has grown steadily through the years, doubling in scope in 2019 after a lull in the natural gas industry. CTC’s are seen as a natural incubator for the skilled workers needed by Pennsylvania’s growing industry sector, including natural gas production.
“We’re excited for the jobs that are ahead, and we are making sure that we have the workforce for this next phase in Pennsylvania’s economic development,” said Coterra director of external affairs George Stark. Trade schools and career centers, he noted, are training the workforce today for tomorrow that make them productive members of society.
The program is administered by Commonwealth Charitable Management (CCM), which has partnered with Coterra Energy for over 10 years in support of Career & Technology students across Pennsylvania. CCM program manager Melissa Turlip related that “Building a future relies on a variety of industries,” citing HVAC technicians, welders, healthcare providers and auto mechanics among specialized fields that are always in demand.
Enabling Access to Many Fields
“Our Center is very grateful and blessed to have sponsors like Coterra Energy that support students to become successful and motivated in pursuing their dreams,” Seneca Highlands Career & Technical Center Early Childhood Education instructor Kimberly Mooney remarked. “We are pulling from rural areas that have a high need for financial assistance.”
Mooney and supplemental learning specialist Kristin Hawver worked together to coordinate the EITC scholarships for 28 students in the Port Allegany area this year. According to Mooney, the funds were used for technology, educational, and workplace items, such as computers, tools, workwear, and general purpose implements based on individual programs.
“The grant managers are a pleasure to work with and make the application process as easy as possible,” Northern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center academic facilitator Linda Slanicka stated. Over the years, students at the New Kensington-based school have used the funds to cover the costs of uniforms, aprons, work boots, certification classes, cosmetology kits, measuring tools for machinists, work clothes, welding helmets and equipment organizers.
“Coterra leads by example,” Slanicka continued. “And our hopes are for other businesses to also partner with Career and Tech Centers. Making a difference in a student’s life is what Coterra did, and we sincerely thank them for that.”
Reposted, with permission, from Well Said Coterra.
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