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Calif. For Energy Independence partners with the L.A. Urban League to promote STEM
By Special to the Sentinel
Published April 28, 2016

Studies and encourage young students to pursue careers in the energy industry.

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Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas speaking to the kids. (Valerie Goodloe/LA Sentinel)

Californians for Energy Independence and the Los Angeles Urban League have partnered on an educational program to encourage high school and college students to explore jobs in the energy industry. The program – “Careers in Energy” – focuses on the importance of STEM studies: science, technology, engineering and math. More than eighty-five local high school students attended the event and learned how excelling in STEM can lead to high paying jobs after college.

The oil and gas industry, which is responsible for 455,940 jobs statewide, is an important part of California’s economy. And at $118,032, the average wage of someone working in the oil and gas industry is more than twice as much as other private industries in California.

Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas addressed the students. As one of the youngest members in the legislature, he connected with the students, imploring them to take the tough classes in high school, to stay disciplined and most importantly not settle or be distracted from their life and career goals.

Youth participants listen to panel discussion. (Valerie Goodloe/LA Sentinel)

Youth participants listen to panel discussion. (Valerie Goodloe/LA Sentinel)

Fox from the CSU-LA MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) program gave a presentation to students and parents to encourage STEM studies. The MESA program supports educationally disadvantaged students to attain four-year degrees in engineering or computer science.

Additionally, several local employees, who are people of color, spoke from a panel about their career paths. The employees were forthcoming with advice about how to navigate college life and more importantly how to begin a STEM field career.

The partnership between the Los Angeles Urban League and Californians for Energy Independence is committed to providing students with an understanding of California’s energy industry needs now and in the future.

“The Urban League is committed to ensuring that our students are socially and academically prepared to graduate from high school on time, and are work ready and college bound. To this end, the Los Angeles Urban League is delighted to work with our partners in the energy industry to broaden our young people’s understanding of the career opportunities available to them,” said Nolan Rollins, President of the Los Angeles Urban League.

“California’s oil and gas industry is ethnically and racially diverse and is a global leader in responsible energy production. By encouraging students to focus on STEM courses in school, we are strengthening the next generation of energy experts who have been a vital part of Californian’s economy for more than 100 years,” said a spokesperson The California For Energy Independence in a released statement.

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