2021 Special Ambassador Award Honoree
Spire is known throughout the St. Louis region for its pipelines that bring natural gas into homes and businesses. But through their partnership with SSD's technical high schools, they have developed another type of valuable pipeline.
Nearly a decade ago, Spire (then known as Laclede Gas) contacted North Technical High School lead counselor Jeff Chandler about starting a partnership. The catalyst for this burgeoning joint venture was a North Tech graduate who caught the attention of the company’s human resources department during an interview. His performance was so impressive that the company asked to find a way to introduce more students to the natural gas industry and the entry-level jobs they had available.
Several years later, the program has expanded to South Technical High School and an estimated two dozen graduates have been hired by Spire.
The program that was developed between the tech schools and Spire consists of five in-school activities and four field trips to Spire facilities during the school year. The in-school activities involve demonstrations by Spire employees showing the type of work performed by entry-level employees as well as presentations by human resources personnel on soft skills and their hiring process. The field trips to Spire allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and a chance to see employees performing the work they'd learned about.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Spire kept up its promise by going virtual with presentations and demonstrations. The company recorded several work crews performing excavations and other operations with their heavy equipment and then shared it with students via Zoom, along with representatives from the work crews explaining what the videos entailed.
For Spire's wonderful partnership and dedication to SSD's technical high school students, they are most deserving of the District's highest honor of earning a Special Ambassador Award.