‘Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders’

By Dave Bertola

Albert Wager looks on as Wanda Fournier answers questions about career opportunities at National Grid.

Inspiring western New York students with the career possibilities of STEM education, National Grid recently sponsored STEM WARS 2017, an educational event in Jamestown, NY.

More than 900 middle and high school students took part in the March event, held at Jamestown County Community College and presented by DreamIt DoIt Western New York and the New York State Technology and Engineering Educators Association. Students from 33 western New York-area schools attended demonstrations, a business fair, as well as fun, educational competitions focused on technology, team-building and leadership.

As part of the event, National Grid chief service representative Kip Morrow and National Grid customer metering services supervisor Wanda Fournier operated an electrical hazard simulator, which illustrated how to work and play safely near electrical transformers and power lines.

Senior account executive Albert Wager was interviewed by a crew from WNY News Now. The interview was streamed live on Facebook. Wager explained why it’s important that the next generation of workers become interested in STEM-related careers, as many machinists and other STEM professionals will be aging out of their jobs in the coming years.

“It’s important to introduce kids today to the concept that science is really fun, and that companies like National Grid will need people who are good at math, engineering and technology,” he said. “Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders.”

“We’re grateful for the partnership with National Grid, which is sponsoring our biggest event to date,” said Jehuu Caulcrick, DreamIt DoIt Western New York coordinator. “It’s great that National Grid is investing in our youth and giving back to the community.”

In addition to supporting STEM WARS, National Grid recently granted $66,000 to the Chautauqua County Education Coalition, which will fund STEM programming. The company also partners with area colleges and universities to host various summer STEM camps.

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