September 2, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANCHORAGE, AK – Chevron, one of the world’s leading energy companies, has donated $1 million to support the University of Alaska’s Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) and the Process Technology, Instrumentation, and Computer Electronics programs located at UAA’s Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. This gift is the largest single corporate gift that KPC has ever received in its 44-year history.
Chevron, a company with more than 59,000 employees and subsidiaries in 180 countries, has operated in Alaska for over 50 years and has recently increased its activity within the State. Currently, Chevron has over 400 employees in Alaska and produces 34,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily. With this increase comes the need for a larger workforce, particularly in the fields of engineering, process technology and instrumentation. "Chevron is committed to support the communities where we work," said John Zager, Chevron Alaska manager. “We believe in recruiting and training locally, and we want to be an active contributor in helping to grow Alaska’s workforce for the future.”
Process technology is one of the fastest growing programs at the University of Alaska. KPC enrolls about 2,000 students each semester and as of Fall 2007 had more than 300 Process Technology and/or Instrumentation declared majors. “Chevron’s generous commitment to our programs will make have an incredible impact on our current and future students,” said Gary Turner, director of KPC. “We will be good stewards of this gift. We plan to use the funds to upgrade teaching labs, to purchase industry-standard training equipment, and to establish a scholarship program in these areas of study.”
ANSEP, another fast-growing program at the University of Alaska, increases recruitment and retention rates among Alaska Natives at the university level. ANSEP introduces high school students to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields through hands-on outreach initiatives and summer bridging programs. ANSEP students at UAA will benefit from Chevron’s gift though expanded program and support opportunities. Students enrolled in ANSEP major in either engineering or biology and have access to focused academic learning communities, student cohort groups, peer and professional mentors, internships and undergraduate research.
Representatives from Chevron, KPC and UAA will be on-hand for two public gift announcement events: Thursday, September 4, 5:30 p.m. at KPC’s Kenai River campus in Soldotna, and Friday, September 5, noon in the ANSEP building on UAA’s Anchorage campus.