Twelve Ohio institutions received $220,000 in Dominion Foundation Higher Education Grants today during a presentation at the University of Akron's Martin University Center. The grants focus on programs that will help prepare students for technical positions in Ohio's growing energy production and other industries.
The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, Dominion East Ohio's parent company, is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well being of the communities served by Dominion companies. Dominion and the Foundation annually award more than $20 million to causes that protect the environment, promote education and help meet basic human needs.
"Dominion East Ohio has a long and proud tradition of providing natural gas services throughout the state," Jeff Murphy, Managing Director, Commercial Operations, noted during the presentation luncheon. "We were an active participant in the first Appalachian natural gas boom of the early 1900s and are now providing competitive, reliable gathering, transportation and processing services for Ohio producers in the new, 21st century natural gas boom. Ohio's colleges and universities also provide an essential service to the natural gas renaissance. They are equipping our area workforce to maximize the economic benefits and to ensure effective stewardship of these new energy supplies. Potentially even more significant, the talented innovators that study at Ohio's colleges today will contribute to the growth of the manufacturing, transportation and service sectors made possible by affordable, abundant, local energy."
The Ohio Higher Education Grants are part of nearly $1.4 million in Dominion Foundation grants the Dominion Foundation is awarding this year to colleges and primary and secondary schools in states where Dominion does business, including Ohio,Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Dominion Foundation Ohio Higher Education Partnership Grant recipients are:
- Hiram College, Hiram, received $30,000 for its "TREE" House: Energy-Smart Choices for Northeast Ohio Homeowners initiative. Students and faculty will renovate a two-story century home with energy-conserving materials and technologies, measure the energy savings, and invite northeast Ohio residents to learn and do the same through free hands-on community workshops.
- Apollo Career Center, Lima, received $20,000 to support its Virtual Reality Integrated Weld Training program. Funds provided will assist with purchasing and installing a virtual welding simulator, which will allow students to learn and practice welding in a safe, simulated environment.
- Belmont College, St. Clairsville, received $20,000 to purchase welders to be installed in its refurbished welding lab. With the increase in the oil and gas activity in Eastern Ohio, students can earn a one-year certificate, a two-year associate degree or specialized training for pipeline welding.
- Eastern Gateway Community College, Steubenville, received $20,000 to help with the purchase and installation of a Virtual Reality Arc Welding Trainer as a training tool in the welding program. Students will learn how to weld in a safe environment and allow the opportunity for testing for various welding certificates.
- Stark State College, North Canton, received $20,000 to add two welding stations, increasing training capacity at its newBarberton satellite center. This will enable the college to meet local demands for welders certified by the American Welding Society.
- The University of Akron Foundation received $20,000 to help expand a welding center in its College of Engineering. The goal is to increase hands-on learning by purchasing equipment such as welders, welding benches, partitions and appropriate protective wear.
- Washington State Community College Foundation, Marietta, received $20,000 to purchase and install a Level/Flow Process Control Learning System to expand the colleges' electrical engineering program. This will be instrumental in teaching engineering students principals used in oil and gas facility design and operation.
- Zane State College, Zanesville, received $20,000 to support an outdoor laboratory that includes learning stations that mimic oil and gas drilling operations. The stations include an operating beam-pumping unit, two 100-barrel production tanks, metering station, slug catcher, and simulated leaking pipelines.
- Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, Cleveland, received $15,000 for equipment and curriculum development for an energy monitoring dashboard system for the Advance Technology Training Center, located in downtown Cleveland. This training facility will prepare students for employment in the alternative energy field by providing hands-on experience in welding simulation, robotic labs, and construction training programs.
- Lakeland Community College, Kirtland, received $15,000 to support a geospatial technology program that prepares students for high-demand real world jobs. Students will complete experiential learning, including internships, co-ops and job shadowing to prepare them for careers in geospatial technologies.
- Ohio Northern University, Ada, received $10,000 to develop and implement a mobile solar energy lab. Engineering students will design an experimental apparatus to demonstrate the operation of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, to be used in undergraduate engineering course and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics outreach programs.
- University of Cincinnati received $10,000 for its new summer Launchpad Program. This six-week summer bridge program will allow select freshmen to strengthen their academic skills in calculus, study and time management, take part in a service/volunteer project, and prepare the students for a successful college experience.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,000 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.