Utica Shale Academy receives significant donation from MPLX and Marathon Petroleum

Front Row: Dane Breedlove (student), Gage Smith (student), Connor Smith (student). Back Row: Holly Williams (Senior administrative assistant at the Cadiz office, and a member of the giving committee), Tina Rush (Adv CSR & community relations representative), Brandon Belford (East region operations director), Tony Dami (East region operations director), Emery Tyson (East region operations director), Mike Halleck (Columbiana County Commissioner), Dave Johnson (CEO Summitville Tile), Senator Michael Rulli (Ohio State Senator, 33rd district), Representative Al Cutrona (Ohio State Representative, 58th district), Bill Watson (Utica Shale Academy of Ohio superintendent). (Submitted photo)

SALINEVILLE — The Utica Shale Academy in Salineville, has become the proud recipient of a $20,000 donation from MPLX and Marathon Petroleum. This generous contribution is earmarked for fire-resistant personal protective gear, crucial for the safety and comfort of students involved in the academy’s outdoor welding program.

Emery Tyson, Utica Region Operations Director for MPLX, was deeply touched by the academy’s needs and the potential impact of this donation. Tyson stated, “we deeply believe that safety comes first, so supporting personal protective equipment needs of students learning valuable trades is an honor,” highlighting the significance of the contribution in enhancing the educational environment for the students.

Holly Williams, a member of the MPLX giving committee, also shared her perspective on the donation. Williams commented, “when the MPLX team read about the project, it was obvious that this was something that we wanted to support. The impact this donation will have on these students and the community will be evident now and in the years to come.,” providing insight into the committee’s decision-making process and its commitment to supporting local education initiatives.

The donation was also praised by State Senator Michel Rulli, who represents the counties served by the Utica Shale Academy. Senator Rulli, an advocate for workforce development and career technical education in Appalachia, expressed his gratitude towards MPLX and Marathon Petroleum. He emphasized the Utica Shale Academy gives students an opportunity to earn a sustainable living wage without compiling college debt. Senator Rulli stated:

“We could get kids and give them a future and give them an idea on how to live, and they could do it debt free. So, they could actually have a skill and a trade where they can make a lot of money and they don’t have a student loan that’s going to strangle them.”

Bill Watson, the superintendent of Utica Shale Academy, and Carter Hill, the principal, expressed their gratitude to MPLX and Marathon Petroleum. Hill highlighted the academy’s commitment to providing essential equipment and supplies to its students at no additional cost. This donation from MPLX is a significant boost to the academy’s efforts to serve its 130 students from more than 15 school districts, focusing on dropout prevention and recovery through career education.

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