National Grid grant puts jolt into Chautauqua STEM programs

Submitted Photo National Grid and The Chautauqua County Education Coalition presenting a check of $66,000 for STEM Programming in the Dunkirk/Fredonia area. Pictured (left to right) is Justin Hanft, Director of the Chautauqua County Education Coalition; Dr. Marilyn Zagora, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Jamestown Community College; Dr. Cory Duckworth, President at Jamestown Community College; Nelson Garifi, Executive Director of Academic Innovation at Jamestown Community College; Kate Piazza, Executive Director at Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County; Jehuu Caulcrick, Industrial Services Manager at Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier; Lori Poniatowski, Health Careers Instructor at E2CCB; Janeil Rey, Director Adult Education and Workforce Development at E2CCB; Al Wager, Regional Manager National Grid.

A National Grid grant to the Chautauqua County Education will provide $66,000 in funding for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programming in the Dunkirk/Fredonia area.

National Grid provided the STEM grant funding to the Chautauqua County Education Coalition, with grants awarded through a competitive application process to help build capacity for programs that establish and promote a continuum of STEM offerings year-round for students of all ages. Applicants were required to meet several guidelines with their projects including demonstrating a connection to STEM focus job opportunities in the Dunkirk/Fredonia region.

Al Wager, National Grid Regional Manager, said, “I’m proud to work for a company that realizes today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. National Grid’s grant will be used to provide funding for a variety of K-12 educational initiatives to promote learning in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics. If you think about it, it’s a solid investment for our communities, and we are so pleased to be a part of that endeavor.”

First round recipients included SUNY Jamestown Community College for their program STEMPLOYMENT 2017 — Summer Internships at a Fredonia/Dunkirk Employer, SUNY Fredonia’s Regional Climate Network Partnership Program, Fredonia Middle School Maker Space, Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County Building Blocks program, and Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Health Careers Program & NYS Certification.

Nelson Garifi, Jamestown Community College Director of Academic Innovation, said, “Students often have to choose between earning college credit in the summer and earning money. Thanks to National Grid’s support, we’re providing opportunities for students to do both through the high impact learning available through internships. These students will also be assessing their commitments to STEM career paths and building their career networks with future employers.”

The grant awards were announced during a recent meeting of the full Chautauqua County Education Coalition. The mission of the Coalition is to align resources and build capabilities to meet the evolving workforce requirements of the community. The Coalition has dozens of participating stakeholders representing over 60 organizations that are part of the Chautauqua County learning system.

These grants represent the first of three rounds of the National Grid STEM grants through the Chautauqua County Education Coalition. The next round will be determined in July of 2017. For more information about applying for this grant opportunity, visit www.educoalition.com/national-grid-grant/.


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