Mackay school receives $50,000 in scholarship endowment

6/15/2007 7:00:00 AM

The Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering will soon add more scholarships to their roster of financial aid. A global firm, Hatch, donated a scholarship endowment of $50,000 to the school in a reception Monday, June 11, to offer incentive for students in a field where the workforce is dwindling.

New scholarships will be formed as a result of the donation and will be named Hatch Scholarship after the company that generously gave to the school. To be eligible for the new Hatch Scholarship, students must be at junior standing or above and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

The donation for a scholarship endowment was made with the hopes of attracting more students to the area of mining, a field that will be experiencing massive loss of workforce when it comes time for the employees to retire.

"Within the next five to ten years, 55% of the employees in the mining industry will retire," said Jim Taranik, director of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.

Despite this loss, the mining industry will only continue to grow, as the economies of countries like China and India demand more from the mining industry.

"There is a big shortage on employees in the mining and mineral processing areas," said Kenneth Thomas, global managing director at Hatch. "The scholarship is just one way of encouraging younger students to enter the mining disciplines at a younger age."

Garry Keizer, director at the Nevada Western Operations of Hatch, expressed concern with the gap that will be left and the inexperience of the new employees that will be hired once the older age group begins to retire.

"I recognize that there is a void between our group and the fresh faces that come straight out of school," Keizer said. "The concern for us is the lack of experience that is very hard to replace."

Taranik said the new Hatch Scholarship will help to develop an improved relationship between the school and the company, which recruits 200 graduates from around the globe, according to Thomas.

"The scholarship will build a stronger connection between the company and the school of Mackay," Taranik said.

The idea for a scholarship endowment first arose when Keizer met Connie Parratt, assistant director of development and alumni relations at the Mackay school of Earth Sciences and Engineering, at a mining exposition in Elko about a year ago. The two began to cultivate ideas for a scholarship endowment from Hatch.

From there, the concept was proposed to Thomas and the first endowment from Hatch in the western region of America was finalized.

Hatch is a global firm that specializes in metals, energy, infrastructure, technologies and consulting. They have 8,000 employees worldwide. The programs and projects Hatch runs have a total value of over $20 billion.


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