The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) has announced that its Energy Workforce Education Center’s Virtual Exploring Energy Program has relaunched into high schools across the United States.
Now in its second year, the program’s mission is to empower and encourage students to delve into the energy industry and its career fields through a variety of video showcases, virtual tours and virtual visits to classrooms by industry professionals, the IPAA highlighted. This program, which is free for students and educators, was developed in response to educators nationwide reaching out to the organization for support from the industry concerning career development, the IPAA revealed.
“Because of our longstanding relationships with both educators and industry professionals our foundation is uniquely positioned to help both tomorrow’s energy professionals and our industry,” Barry Russell, the co-chairman of the IPAA Energy Workforce Education Advisory Board and the president and chief executive officer of IPAA, said in an organization statement.
“Recently, we expanded our scope and began working together with renewable energy companies to provide students with information about all forms of energy and in doing so empowering them to make an informed decision about their bright futures,” he added in the statement.
“We believe that access to this information should be free and encourage a variety of incentives for educators and students to get involved,” Russell went on to say.
Galen Cobb, the co-chairman of the IPAA Energy Workforce Education Advisory Board and vice president of industry relations at Halliburton, said, “for many years we have explored expanding our programs to reach more educators and students at a national level”.
“We now have the technology and expertise to provide high quality programs that will encourage high school students to explore energy career opportunities in an exciting and meaningful way,” he added.
In its inaugural year, the IPAA Exploring Energy Program welcomed more than 4,000 students from 12 states and territories. Since its relaunch, the program has had interest from multiple educators across several states including California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming, with more being added regularly, the IPAA noted.
The IPAA Educational Foundation, through its Energy Workforce Education Center, promotes energy education outreach and early career development opportunities to diverse communities, to educate, inspire and provide a pathway from middle school to employment and leadership in all energy sectors, according to the IPAA. The Energy Workforce Education Center supports energy education outreach by providing education in six areas: the high school exploring energy program, the middle school stem career exploration program, a competitive student extern program, consulting services (national and international), virtual and in-house oil and gas courses and industry-focused e-learning online courses. The IPAA Energy Workforce Education Center is sponsored by several energy companies, including Occidental, BHP, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil.
The IPAA describes itself as a national upstream trade association representing thousands of independent oil and natural gas producers and service companies across the United States. A key purpose of the group is advocacy of smart federal policies that promote the safe development and use of American oil and gas, the organization’s website states. Independent producers develop 90 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells, account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production and support over 2.1 million American jobs, the IPAA highlights.