CenterPoint Energy has donated a backhoe valued at $25,000 to Minnesota Community and Technical College in support of the college’s commitment to gas utility construction education.
The donated vehicle will be used by students in M State’s new Gas Utility Construction and Service program, offered on the college’s Wadena campus. The 32-credit diploma program trains students for careers in the gas utility industry.
“The ability to support M State will generate great return to CenterPoint Energy by creating a workforce we desperately need now and into the future as more and more of our current employees retire,” said Scott Lehner, area manager for CenterPoint Energy, a natural gas supplier that serves customers in central Minnesota and the Twin Cities area.
M State President Peggy Kennedy said the donation “will help M State to provide a more meaningful and realistic gas utility program for the students in our region. This type of business- education partnership is what career education is all about — excellent graduates for the workforce and excellent careers for our students.”
Monty Johnson, M State dean of academics, welcomed CenterPoint’s partnership with the college. “Bringing the natural gas utility industry into the classroom and bringing the classroom to industry helps us develop a better educational experience,” Johnson said.