Chevron has added $30 million in additional support for STEM education programs to its previous commitments, for a total of $130 million since 2011. The oil and gas company is expanding funding for the handful of national programs it supports, for its work on reform and standards, professional development for teachers, and hands-on learning.
Chevron is one of the world’s six major oil companies and one of the largest corporations in the world, posting more than $20 billion in annual net income in 2013. Like many companies with a direct interest in a future American workforce trained in technical fields, Chevron supports STEM education programs as one of its philanthropic focuses. The company supports education from K-12 and beyond, with an emphasis on raising standards and performance in schools and hands-on learning programs.
Similar to other corporate foundations, Chevron tends to support a small number of programs with a high level of funding and involvement. In this case, there are eight main programs the company backs:
- Techbridge is an informal education nonprofit that provides after school programs, mentoring and summer camps for girls in STEM topics.
- Chevron works with community colleges in the company's areas of operation to offer technical training that often results in directly hiring graduates.
- The University Partnership Program offers support to 94 campuses for grants, scholarships, faculty development, curriculum and equipment, also resulting in many grads going on to work for Chevron.
- STEM Zone is a mobile, interactive learning center that shows up at large events.
- Project Lead the Way works to spread engineering curriculum to schools.
- The Fab Foundation supplies "Fab Labs" of educational manufacturing equipment to schools where Chevron operates.
- Achieve is a program to spread Next Generation Science Standards throughout K-12 schools.
- One of the few programs that is accessible to large numbers of recipients, Fuel Your School is a partnership with DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding site that support projects and equipment specifically requested by teachers. The company donates a certain amount to projects, based on gasoline sales.
These programs, and Chevron’s latest bump in their funding, reflect an ongoing trend in which large corporations are becoming more directly involved in public and higher education—boosting the country’s lagging STEM education programs, while plugging graduates into the workforce—in many cases, directly to their own companies. To learn more about Chevron's giving, see its corporate website below.