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Our volunteer-delivered, K-12 programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literary skills. Junior Achievement’s experiential learning inspires kids to dream big and reach their potential.

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JA Careers In Energy


Junior Achievement Careers in Energy

Educational Overview

The objective of the new Junior Achievement (JA) Careers in Energy Program is to teach middle school students about different types of energy, the economic and environmental impact of each, and careers in the industry and related fields. The curriculum supports JA’s three pillars of financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship, while introducing concepts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Below you will find a brief description of the key concepts found in each lesson of the curriculum.
Session 1 Key Concepts

  • Definition, forms and types of energy
  • The importance of all energy sources in meeting our energy needs
  • The many factors that enter in to how and why a particular energy source is chosen
  • The many different career opportunities within the energy sector

Session 2 Key Concepts

  • Energy Transformation Principals
  • Benefits and drawbacks of all energy sources
  • How to calculate energy footprints
  • How individual energy footprints contribute to energy consumption
  • Job potential in the energy sector

Session 3 Key Concepts

  • Location and potential of the Marcellus Shale Play
  • The process involved in tapping natural gas reserves
  • The steps that must be taken to protect the environment
  • The upstream, midstream and downstream industries associated with exploration and production
  • The job creation potential in the natural gas industry

Session 4 Key Concepts

  • Direct and indirect impact the industry can have on a small community
  • The impact the “life span” of a horizontal well has on economics and jobs
  • The nature of Boom and Bust in the “life span” of a horizontal well
  • The importance of financial planning in relation to Boom and Bust
  • Current statistics on jobs in both direct and ancillary industries

Session 5 Key Concepts

  • Extensiveness of job opportunities in the industry
  • The relationship between the student’s interests/skills and compatible jobs in the energy industry
  • The importance of the skills needed to read and understand graphs and charts
  • The many opportunities available for entrepreneurs as a result of having this industry in a community
  • How best to develop a resume for securing a compatible job in the industry

Session 6 Key Concepts
(Game utilized for students to review the concepts learned in sessions 1-5 and prepare for Session 7)

  • Review energy and natural gas exploration and production concepts learned in Sessions 1-5
  • Recognize how that information must be considered and analyzed relative to decision-making
  • Consider which pieces of information would be most critical for developing a position regarding acceptance of the natural gas industry into a community

Session 7 Key Concepts
(Town Hall Meeting simulation to discuss the pros and cons of a well pad being built in a small community)

  • Pros and cons of an impending well pad site in Opportunity, PA
  • Recognition of personal perspectives of:
    1. The company
    2. A group of community members concerned about safety and the environment
    3. An individual community member whose restaurant business would likely benefit from the additional people that would move into the community
    4. An individual currently unemployed who is hoping to secure employment as a result of the well
    5. A farmer who is concerned about how the industry and impending traffic might impact the farm
    6. The local electric company who will benefit from the local natural gas resource
    7. A group of concerned members of “Friends of Fish”
    8. An environmental activist

Demand for the program from area schools is strong and volunteer support from the industry and related organizations is growing. If you would like your school to participate, please contact Krista Myers at kmyers@jawesternpa.org or your JA staff person.


Current sponsors of the curriculum include (as of October 1, 2013):

FTS International
Range Resources
Snyder Brothers, Inc.
Benedum Foundation

XTO Energy
ECA Foundation
Talisman Energy
Shell Appalachia

Marcellus Shale Coalition
Noble Energy

Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc
Cabot Oil & Gas
Chesapeake Energy
AAPL – MLBC Chapter
Southwestern Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Industry Partnership
Westmoreland County Community College



Careers in Energy Fact Sheet

Media about Careers in Energy Program


Careers in Energy Map