Last month NPPD was presented with the Energy Innovator Award from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for its “Pathways to a Technical Future” program. This award recognizes utility programs that have demonstrated advances in the development or application of creative, energy-efficient techniques/technologies, provided better service to electric customers or increased the efficiency of utility operations and resources. Judging criteria also includes transferability and takes into account project scope in relation to utility size. NPPD was one of nine public power utilities recognized at the APPA annual conference.
“NPPD is extremely honored to be recognized by the APPA as an Energy Innovator,” said Senior Energy Educator Chad Johnson, who accepted the award on behalf of the company. “This award is not specifically an education-focused award, so being selected makes it even more exciting.”
NPPD implemented the “Pathways to a Technical Future” program, which was nominated for the award, to connect STEM curriculum for students in kindergarten through college, allowing them to cultivate skills required for energy and public power careers. Furthermore, the District has helped teachers and administrators work with local utilities, businesses and other community members to integrate Pathways concepts into their systems.
“NPPD’s energy education team works hard to serve the students and teachers of Nebraska and to be innovative in the ways we do that. This award validates all of that hard work,” continued Johnson. “Nebraska companies, and NPPD especially, are starting to gain national attention for our innovative reputation. Our goal for the Pathways to a Technical Future program is to help keep that supply of local, technical and innovative workers flowing from Nebraska communities.”
“I am excited that our NPPD teammates have been recognized for their work in this area,” said Mary Plettner, NPPD Economic Development Manager. “This program has spurred the start-up of several STEM trailers across our service territory which will further enhance learning opportunities for students.”