College scholarships available through La Plata Electric Association
Electric cooperative to host scholarship Q&A Open House on Jan. 15
DURANGO, Colo. – To assist high school seniors and their parents with the application process for college scholarships available through La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), the cooperative will host a special Open House, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 5:30-7 p.m. at LPEA’s Bodo Park headquarters (45 Stewart St., Durango).
LPEA staff members will be on-hand to answer any questions. No reservations necessary and copies of all LPEA scholarship applications will be available.
All high school seniors, including home school students, in LPEA’s service territory who receive their electricity from LPEA are eligible to apply for the variety of funding opportunities. Deadline for application is Monday, Mar. 4, 2019. Attendance at the Open House is not a requirement of application.
LPEA directly offers the LPEA Scholarship (four-year), LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship (two-year), and Lineman Scholarship for aspiring electric line workers, per LPEA Board of Directors policy 302. The co-op also provides for additional affiliated rural electric scholarships/awards offered by Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Scholarship information and applications are available on the LPEA Scholarship Information web page.
Specifically, LPEA will award two, four-year scholarships (140 credit hours) for students attending any college or university beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year. LPEA will cover tuition, books and fees, up to $28,000 over four years, given that the students maintain minimum qualifications.
The LPEA/John Voelker Memorial Scholarship recognizes two students attending accredited vocational schools, technical schools or junior college. This two-year scholarship covers fees, books, tools and supplies up to $10,000 over two years, per student.
The La Plata Electric Lineman Scholarship funds two annual scholarships covering tuition, fees and books, not to exceed $12,000 for each scholarship for up to one year at an accredited institution, including a vocational school, technical school, junior college or university in the United States, majoring in an electric line worker program. Any scholarship overage, following payment of tuition and fees, can be applied to purchase of tools and supplies required in the trade.
Funds for the LPEA, LPEA/John Voelker Memorial and Lineman scholarships come from LPEA’s unclaimed Capital Credits. Each year, the co-op endeavors to find “missing” members who are due a share of retired Capital Credits. Those funds unable to be returned to members are then put back into the community – in this case, into college scholarships.
LPEA supports training and educating local young people for positions they may ultimately secure at a rural electric cooperative, though this is not a requirement of the scholarships. Rural electric cooperatives are known nationally to provide stable employment, livable wages and solid benefit packages. LPEA is no exception and, with more than 100 employees, it exists as one of the more significant employers in the region.
Former scholarship recipients currently employed at LPEA include Manager of Rates, Technology and Energy Policy Dan Harms and Controller Rachel (Lasiewicz) Gilman, both of Durango and graduates, respectively, of Colorado State University (CSU) and Fort Lewis College. Also, Systems Engineer Jake Wills and Staff Engineer Rachel Schur, both Pagosa Springs High School and CSU graduates, were LPEA scholarship recipients.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative celebrating 80 years in 2019, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.