In a very short amount of time, BP America has made its presence in Trumbull County meaningful through philanthropy. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as big players in the oil and natural gas industry gain a stronger foothold in the Mahoning Valley.
BP provided $50,000 for the Defined STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program that the Trumbull County Educational Service Center offers to local school districts. The Web-based program is available to 20,000 students in grades 4 through 12. It offers teachers access to activities that reinforce critical thinking and make traditional subjects relevant to student-chosen career paths.
Earlier, BP delivered 600 pounds of processed beef and pork to the local Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul Society. The food came from the company's purchase of three 4-H livestock auction animals at the Trumbull County Fair.
BP purchased a steer and two hogs at the fair's livestock auction and arranged and paid for the processing of the animals before delivering them to the respective charities.
BP spokesman Curtis Thomas said the company wants to be a good corporate neighbor. In regards to the STEM support, he said it's important to train the next generation of workers for the oil and gas industry.
The Tribune Chronicle reported Thursday that the number of deep-well natural gas drilling sites continues to inch upward each month in the Mahoning Valley and energy companies are raising their predictions for local success. Reports like that, and Thomas' comment that the company is looking so many years ahead in preparing students for the industry, should translate not only into economic stimulation, but also an ongoing increase in philanthropy.