KEYTEX Energy 2nd Annual Scholarship Day

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KEYTEX Energy, a leading energy services and consulting firm, held their second annual KEYTEX Scholar Day on Monday, May 21, 2012, at their Greensburg office. Ten Westmoreland County high school seniors currently pursuing college/professional careers in engineering or the energy industry, along with their guidance counselors, participated in the event. “My optimism for the future was much reinforced by the mature and thoughtful responses of this group of young students during our Scholar Day program,” said Mike Dandrea, KEYTEX’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

“An experience that we can’t duplicate in the classroom,” said Cindy Pompelia, an advanced placement Calculus and Chemistry teacher at Greater Latrobe High School.

KEYTEX Energy, a leading energy services and consulting firm, held their second annual KEYTEX Scholar Day on Monday, May 21, 2012, at their Greensburg office. Ten Westmoreland County high school seniors currently pursuing college/professional careers in engineering or the energy industry, along with their guidance counselors, participated in the event. These students applied for the KEYTEX scholarship, and had previously submitted their academic and upcoming college information for consideration. All of the participants were from schools that currently utilize KEYTEX Energy consulting services to procure their electric generation. Students spent the day participating in a number of electric and natural gas energy presentations, and diverse commodity trading discussions with selected KEYTEX industrial and governmental customers in addition to KEYTEX staff. This interaction provided these exceptional seniors an insight into the broad range of related activities and dynamic markets in the energy industry.

Westmoreland County Commissioner, Charles “Chuck” Anderson, inspirationally spoke to the students about the extraordinary history and early leaders of Westmoreland County, and of overcoming many obstacles and circumstances before achieving his ambition of becoming a Marine aviator and County Commissioner. He also advised the students that there are about 200 available jobs in the Westmoreland County area that are well paying which many residents overlook or pass up. Commissioner Anderson encouraged the students to embrace the legacy of the County’s eminent founders and early leaders, and to realize here in Westmoreland County how fortunate we are “to stand on the shoulders of giants.”

Jake Stilley, Vice President of Amerikohl Mining & Patriot Exploration, spoke to the students about the increase in the exploration and production of natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale reserves. He explained that when Marcellus shale exploration initially began in this region, the needed experienced workforce had to be brought in from the Texas and Oklahoma gas fields. However as subsequent education and training became available in the Westmoreland County area, Mr. Stilley assured the students that local workers now have the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the industry’s staffing needs. “If you want to stay in Western Pennsylvania, the opportunity is here,” said Mr. Stilley.

Neal Fenton, Engineering Manager of Latrobe Steel, then spoke with the students about the different job opportunities in energy and engineering. He stressed the importance of internships throughout a student’s college years to help determine actual future professional interest and areas of focus. Mr. Fenton then recalled his own past internship with Latrobe Specialty Steel where he learned the fundamentals of the steel business, and came to realize his keen interest in the application of engineering principles to the steel industry. Mr. Fenton went to work for Latrobe Specialty Steel after college, and is now their Manager of Engineering. Parker Jorgensen, a Greensburg Salem senior who wants to pursue an engineering career, said “there are so many areas to get into that I never realized or thought about before.”

Although each student that participated received a scholarship of $500 towards the college of their choice, KEYTEX also awarded three additional $500 schorlarships following the Scholar Day event. A panel of three judges arranged by KEYTEX owner Greg Cammerata separately met with all students in order to gain more details about their future plans and goals. A question and answer session was utilized to understand the basis for and specific future professional interest of each candidate. KEYTEX very much believes in promoting science and math opportunities to high school students, not only to inform, but hopefully to also influence the development of critical skills needed in today’s workforce. “My optimism for the future was much reinforced by the mature and thoughtful responses of this group of young students during our Scholar Day program,” said Mike Dandrea, KEYTEX’s Director of Sales and Marketing. Greg Cammerata, President of KEYTEX Energy, noted that “all of the participants were simply outstanding and were truly interested in expanding their knowledge of the energy industry. We were looking to help young minds with a well conceived vision for the future, and that is exactly what we did here today.” Following the student interview process, the panel, with great difficulty, reached the extremely challenging selection of three students that would each receive an additional $500 scholarship award. Austin Faddish of Greater Latrobe High School, Parker Jorgensen from Greensburg Salem High School, and Melissa Monstrola from Mt. Pleasant High School were selected by the judges’ panel. Austin will be pursuing engineering and computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, Parker plans to study mechanical engineering at Penn State University Main Campus, and Melissa will be pursuing Chemical Engineering also at Penn State University Main Campus.

The KEYTEX Energy Scholarship Day program has provided local students with “an experience that we can’t duplicate in the classroom,” said Cindy Pompelia, an advanced placement Calculus and Chemistry teacher at Greater Latrobe High School. Student Parker Jorgensen also noted “I will strive to represent KEYTEX in a positive manner, and one day give back to my community as you have.” Cammerata ended the day by saying “today was a very rewarding day for all of the participants, and we are already looking forward to questions and interests of next year’s Scholar Day student participants.”

Contact a KEYTEX Representative at (724)-468-6500 for further details and information on how your school can get involved and participate in our Scholar Day Program.

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Greg Cammerata
KEYTEX Energy
724-468-6500
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