The American Action Forum determined that the U.S. will be short 1.1 million STEM workers in 2024. A separate study done by the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte suggests that the shortage will be 2 million in 2025.
With that issue looming on the horizon, City Utilities partnered with the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club in 2019 to create a scholarship fund for City Utilities' interns. Rotary’s guiding principles include providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and creating lasting change.
City Utilities has a robust and growing internship program, with more than 20 participants in 2021, and over 200 in the past 20 years. The scholarship partnership helps the utility develop and retain talent in water resources professionals who can serve City Utilities or one of the numerous firms in the area that support utility infrastructure.
"City Utilities and other businesses around the community, and the entire country, need STEM field employees and will continue to need them," said Mayor Tom Henry. "Our partnership with the Anthony Wayne Rotary helps young men and women achieve their goals and will serve our community well with bright, new talent in fields with employee shortages."
In January 2022, five scholarships were presented to STEM students interning for City Utilities in areas of the environment, waste-to-energy conversion, and electrical and mechanical engineering.
$2,000 awards went to Nicholas Brandt of Indiana Institute of Technology, working on a Master of Business Administration degree, and Matthew Dabertin of Indiana University, working on Masters in Environmental Science and Public Affairs.
$1,000 scholarships went to Hannah Simon of Purdue University Fort Wayne, Civil and Mechanical Engineering; Austin Kiessling of Purdue University Fort Wayne, Electrical Engineering; and Carleen Zanzone, Ball State University, Natural Resources & Environmental Management/Biology.
“We do work all over the world, but the importance of providing opportunities for the crucial STEM positions that will support northeast Indiana are vital for our future,” said Lynette Johnson, Anthony Wayne Rotary Club. “We are proud to support these students and to be part of the important endeavor.”
"We hope that students who receive this scholarship will benefit from the extra boost to reach the finish line. We are confident they will go on to successful careers and be the change-makers of tomorrow because of the foundation they received through this scholarship," said Kumar Menon, Director of City Utilities.