The Electrical Connection joined the St. Charles County Economic Development Council (EDC) in honoring high school students who have excelled in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math. A total of 18 St. Charles County students were saluted in the annual STEM Celebration Breakfast presented by the St. Charles County EDC and sponsored by the Electrical Connection. The 12th annual STEM breakfast was held on March 5, 2021 at the Foundry Arts Centre at 520 N. Main Center in St. Charles, Mo. The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
“In an era when technology is relentlessly advancing, it is an honor to salute the best and brightest students who will be shaping our future,” noted Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection. “These students inspire hope for a better world where the next generation of innovation can create a better and healthier life for all.”
As an example of the importance of STEM subjects, Curran noted that Electrical Connection partnership is working to expand the network of electric vehicle charging stations to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. “This technology doesn’t happen without STEM education,” said Curran. “It is the foundation of everything that is taught at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center.”
IBEW and NECA invest more than $3 million annually in training at the award winning IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center. For more than 75 years, the training center has produced more highly skilled and safe electricians and communication technicians than any other education program in Missouri. The five-year, 10,000 hour education program that is industry funded at no taxpayer expense. Its apprentices are instructed free of charge and earn a living while they learn the electrical trade. One of the students honored — Madyson Bamvakais, Lewis and Clark Career Center – is contemplating launching her career at the training center.
“The Electrical Connection has been solidly supporting the STEM Celebration Breakfast since it was initiated 12 years ago,” noted Scott Drachnik, president and CEO, St. Charles County EDC. “As we have found in all of our partnerships with Electrical Connection, they are a steadfast resource in helping the St. Charles County EDC chart a path forward so our businesses and communities can thrive in the 21st century.”
Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, director of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, was the keynote speaker. Jim Curran joined Dr. Curtis Cain, superintendent, Wentzville School District, in presenting the STEM awards to students. Both serve on the St. Charles County EDC education committee.
The St. Charles County high school students honored at this year’s STEM breakfast include:
- Allie Zottarella, Fort Zumwalt North
- Jack Jeep, Fort Zumwalt South
- Euncie Antwi, Fort Zumwalt East
- Allison Merz, Fort Zumwalt West
- Maanav Batra, Francis Howell
- Jackson Ford, Francis Howell Central
- Cate Hahn, Francis Howell North
- Adam Lotoszynski, St. Dominic
- Ally Willis, Timberland
- Lily Cattoor, Orchard Farm
- Ethan Dunsworth, Wentzville Holt
- Keegan Irizarry, St. Charles West
- Madyson Bamvakais, Lewis and Clark Career Center
- Austin Beckerdite, Liberty High
- Danial Thoenen, Christian High
- Ella Emerick, Lutheran High
- Zachary Roberts, St. Charles High
- Josh Guiot, Duchesne High.
The STEM breakfast is one of several educational initiatives support by the Electrical Connection. Others include partnerships with the FIRST Robotics, the Saint Louis Science Center, Missouri Energy Initiative (MEI), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and more.
Electrical Connection members provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. For more information visit www.electricalconnection.org.