Appalachia Partnership Initiative

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supporting STEM education and workforce development in the tri-state region of pennsylvania, ohio and west virginia

The Appalachia Partnership Initiative (API) invests in programs that engage students in science, technology, engineering and math in preparation for careers in the region's high-demand occupations.

Support for post-secondary programs focuses on workforce development training, apprenticeships, and certifications in energy and advanced manufacturing industries.

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addressing challenges

a shortage of STEM-skilled workers to fill open and anticipated jobs

STEM skilled workers
STEM-related fields have some of the highest demands for new workers and also command the highest pay.
Energy and advanced manufacturing companies must fill 5,000 job openings each year due to an aging workforce.

340,000 workers needed

The tri-state region will need an additional 340,000 workers to fill jobs in the next 10 years. Almost a quarter of these jobs could go unfilled if younger workers are not equipped with skills aligned to available jobs.

a lack of understanding of the importance of STEM education, especially in rural areas

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40% of parents polled in the tri-state area believe schools need to do more to prepare students for advanced technology jobs.
STEM education
However, many parents and business leaders are unfamiliar with STEM education or think it is only relevant for students planning to attend four-year colleges.


Appalachia Partnership Initiative

launched in 2014 with a five-year $20 million commitment from Chevron, API is a collaboration of five regional organizations

Grabel Foundation
Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
Catalyst Connection
RAND Corporation


our goal is to engage, mobilize and catalyze a community of leaders across multiple sectors

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non-profit foundations

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public funding

hands-on learning experiences

API partners with non-profit organizations like Project Lead the Way (PLTW), which provides students with unique opportunities for STEM learning, often in hands-on environments.

Through transformative STEM-learning experiences, pre-K through 12th grade students develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and analytical skills. What’s especially unique to the program is its support for teachers, who undergo rigorous training.  

“Our support for STEM education helps communities prosper and engages many people in the process,” said Janet Auer, who manages education partnerships supported by Chevron. “We encourage students to think about how STEM can create a better future for themselves and do great things that benefit us all.”

Most recently, Chevron continued its commitment to innovative educational experiences in January 2019, expanding its support of PLTW programs with $1 million in grants to several Pennsylvania schools.

Frazier School District in Fayette County started PLTW classes in 2013, and now offers the program to students in elementary school through high school.


Appalachia Partnership Initiative Map

access to cutting-edge technology

API focuses on 27 counties in pennsylvania, ohio and west virginia.

This initiative aims to create multiple pathways for residents to access education, training and career opportunities.

A key strategy is to support innovative teaching and share expertise, curricula and technology across the region, with an emphasis on the inclusion of rural communities.


API funding supports the region with sustainable access to a variety of STEM and workforce training programs

Advancing STEM education

advancing STEM education

Opportunities for real-world learning in manufacturing and energy give learners a unique connection between STEM in the classroom and potential future careers.
API programs like Project Lead the Way has provided more than $3.5 million in grants to sustain existing programs and implemented new PLTW initiatives in 107 elementary, middle and high schools.
Increasing technical skills

increasing technical skills

Students and adult learners gain quality training to prepare them for careers in energy and manufacturing.
For example, Catalyst Connection ($424,000 invested to-date) supports apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing and supports professional development for educators interested in teaching students about the manufacturing industry.
Engaging communities

engaging communities

API partners go beyond investing money; we also contribute volunteers and expertise to promote education and career awareness, evaluate our programs and performance, and share our learnings with leaders in the community.
Since 2014, Chevron has provided $19 million to API - with millions co-funded by API partners - which has also attracted support from other private companies as well as non-profits and public funding sources.

Appalachia partnership initiative

Published: October 2017