Aera Energy, a leading California oil and gas company, announced today with West Hills College Coalinga the opening of the MESA Lab and Study Lounge in Coalinga at West Hills College Coalinga.
January 23, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Feleena Sutton
West Hills Community College and Aera Energy partner to open new MESA Lab
What: Unveiling of new MESA Lab and Study Lounge
Who: West Hills College Coalinga and Aera Energy
When: Thursday, January 23 at 1:30 pm
Where: 300 Cherry Lane, Coalinga, CA
Coalinga, Calif. – Aera Energy, a leading California oil and gas company, announced today with West Hills College Coalinga the opening of the MESA Lab and Study Lounge in Coalinga at West Hills College Coalinga.
“The partnership with Aera Energy is powerful for West Hills. Their investment to support our increasing commitment to providing math, science, engineering and related programs is elevating the status of our college and our STEM-related programs in Coalinga,” said Dr. Stuart Van Horn, the Chancellor of the West Hills Community College District. “The partnership is also a wonderful example of Aera Energy’s commitment to their organizational succession planning. Together, we are building the key skills, talents and abilities of their future workforce.”
Aera Energy’s donation creates a hub with workstations for the students, a study area and a place to gather with their cohorts. The MESA Director, Zach Soto, will also be located in the hub as well which allows the students direct access on a regular basis. The Aera donation will allow MESA to hire four tutors that will be dedicated to assisting the MESA students. Additionally, Aera also donated to the President’s Scholars Program, that will assist MESA students with the cost of books and tuition. The President’s Scholars Program assists eligible students with free tuition and a stipend for books.
“West Hills MESA is poised to develop a new generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math within Fresno County,” explained Aera president and CEO Christina Sistrunk, who herself is a chemical engineer from The Ohio State University. “This program fuels diversity by supporting historically underrepresented groups to achieve their potential and access challenging and rewarding careers via STEM degrees.”
MESA Stands for Math, Engineering and Science Achievement and is a program that helps disadvantaged students enter the science and engineering field by creating an educational foundation from middle school through college. According to Change the Equation, STEM jobs will grow by 13% by 2027 and overall, STEM occupations has grown 79% since 1990 according to the Pew Research Center.
About Aera Energy
Aera Energy accounts for about 25 percent of the state’s oil production. The oil we produce allows millions of Californians to travel to work every day, businesses to grow and thrive and California-grown food to arrive at dinner tables. We live in the communities where we work, which includes Kern, Ventura, Monterey and Fresno counties. We’re also working to redevelop a historic oil field in northern Santa Barbara County. We’re proud to support local communities through jobs, partnerships and investments to build stronger neighborhoods and cities together. For more information, visit www.aeraenergy.com