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Air Products Donates $260,000 to Expand Southeastern Louisiana University’s STEM Scholar Program for the Upcoming School Year

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Representatives from Air Products in Louisiana presented a $260,000 donation from the Air Products Foundation to the Southeastern Louisiana University Foundation to expand its STEM Scholar Program for the 2024-2025 academic school year from 30 high school students to 100 Scholars. The check presentation occurred at the University of Louisiana System’s Black Male Summit in New Orleans on Tuesday, June 18.

The Southeastern STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Scholars program will enroll 100 high school students from Livingston, St. John the Baptist, and Tangipahoa parishes during the 2024-25 academic year to spark an interest in science for young people. The STEM Scholars will learn about science and then share what they have learned through participation in science fairs, STEM festivals and conferences. Each STEM Scholar will make a presentation to their science class at the end of the year.

“Sparking a young person’s interest in science and technology is an investment in their future and the future of our communities and businesses, which is why we are so excited to support this program. The work Southeastern Louisiana University is doing to promote science education in Louisiana will pay future dividends in many ways,” said Danna Leblanc, Commercial Executive Director of Air Products’ Louisiana Clean Energy Complex. “At Air Products, we are excited about our growing manufacturing footprint in Louisiana and we are committed to having an inclusive local workforce. It is our hope that by ensuring everyone has access to STEM education and opportunities, we can keep even more of our young people here in Louisiana with good paying, fulfilling jobs in engineering and other science fields.”

"The Southeastern STEM Scholars program is a proven model fueling student success in high demand occupations,” said Dr. William S. Wainwright, President of Southeastern Louisiana University. “This timely investment will allow Southeastern to scale the STEM Scholars program therefore expanding access to surrounding parishes of Southeastern Louisiana. This market responsive program is a testament to the real time alignment of the university mission with key industry sectors which strengthens our regional economy."

Air Products employees join leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University to present a $260,000 grant to support the SLU STEM Scholars program. From left to right, they are Dr. Troy Williams, Director of the SLU STEM Scholars Program; Stanley Bienemy, Air Products Government Relations Manager; Danna LeBlanc, Air Products Commercial Executive Director; Dr. William S. Wainwright. President of Southeastern Louisiana University; and Dr. Daniel McCarthy, Dean of the College of Science and Technology.

About the Air Products Lake Maurepas Community Fund and Air Products’ Community Giving in Louisiana
Air Products supports the communities where it operates through community giving and employee volunteer efforts. In addition to grants through the overall corporate Air Products Foundation, in 2023, the company launched the Air Products Lake Maurepas Community Fund, which plans to contribute $1 million per year to community projects that meet its intended mission during the duration of the operation of the Louisiana Clean Energy Complex, which is expected to be at least 25 years.

Already through the Fund, Air Products has made grants to worthwhile projects with the Livingston Parish Fire Protection District #2 and the Manchac Volunteer Fire Department for enhanced public safety efforts on Lake Maurepas; the Livingston Fire Protection District #2 to support its ongoing staffing needs; and for a Lake Maurepas fish stocking program managed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, among others. 

The Fund assists parishes bordering Lake Maurepas by supporting needed educational, ecological, and recreational projects, with a focus on Livingston, St. John the Baptist, and Tangipahoa Parishes.

Looking forward, Air Products strives to continue its more than five-decade history of safe and responsible operations in Louisiana, both through its proposed Louisiana Clean Energy Complex currently under development and in future investments. To learn more, visit: http://Community.CleanEnergyLouisiana.com.

About the Louisiana Clean Energy Complex
Air Products is developing the Louisiana Clean Energy Complex, which will advance energy independence by creating clean energy at a blue hydrogen production plant. This project is Air Products’ largest investment in the United States and will help Louisiana meet its long-term carbon-reduction goals while creating and supporting local jobs. 

The new facility will create 170 new permanent jobs with an average salary of $93,000 a year, and 2,000 construction jobs. Currently, Air Products employs 330 people in Louisiana at 18 facilities across the state, with employees actively contributing to the communities where they live and work. For more detailed information about Air Products’ Louisiana Clean Energy Complex, please visit CleanEnergyLouisiana.com. People can also follow the project on FacebookX, and LinkedIn.