APS amps up support for workforce development, energy education at NAU

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A recent grant from the Arizona Public Service Foundation lends power to efforts that enhance learning and career opportunities for students at Northern Arizona University.

The gift of nearly $200,000 will be used to support the APS/NAU Professional Leadership Center in The W.A. Franke College of Business and a similar center in the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences.

Representatives from NAU, APS and Pinnacle West
Representatives from NAU, APS and APS’ parent company Pinnacle West were on hand today at a ceremonial check presentation celebrating APS’ recent $197,000 gift to NAU. From left: Pauline Entin, associate dean of the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences; Betsy Mennel, associate vice president for Advancement; NAU President John Haeger; Allison Kipple, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Cindy May, community development manager for APS in Flagstaff; Becky Hickman, director of investor relations at Pinnacle West; David Falck, executive vice president and general counsel for Pinnacle West; and Elizabeth Daoust, director of development for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences at NAU.

The gift also will support curriculum for power systems courses in electrical engineering and create hands-on learning projects for engineering students, allowing them to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of power generation and transmission. Such preparation will provide a pathway toward successful internships and jobs in both the traditional and renewable energy sectors.The centers allow students to combine their classroom learning with practical work experience to help create an educated workforce that is prepared for the business world.

“APS has shown generous support for programs that assure employers throughout Arizona a diverse pool of excellent NAU graduates,” said Betsy Mennell, associate vice president for University Advancement. “Employers can be certain NAU students will learn about power using state-of-the-art equipment and thorough curriculum, and that their professional experience and exposure has been up-close and personal.”

Cindy May, community development manager for APS in Flagstaff, said funding programs that focus on workforce development and career enhancement contributes to a more energy-efficient Flagstaff and eventually more energy-efficient communities across the region. “APS is committed to energy efficiency in our communities, high quality power and energy education, and producing students who are professionally and academically prepared for a competitive workforce,” she said.