When Dr. Vlad and Chef Claudy Walk into a Room…

Last week, students in the inaugural class of the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy convened in downtown Pittsburgh at the Energy Innovation Center to hear from two regional leaders and to develop a few culinary skills.

Dr. Vladimir St. Surin is the Dean of Students at Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).  He is one of those success stories regarding how western Pennsylvania can recruit and retain the best and brightest.  Dr. Vlad’s family hails from Haiti by way of New York City, and he arrived in the Steel City to play football at Robert Morris University.  And he never left town.

As Dean of Students, Dr. Vlad manages the full spectrum of issues facing those enrolled at CCAC, including applications, logistics, interaction with faculty, and advisement.  He’s heard it all and seen it all during his 15-year tenure at CCAC.

That experience showed when Dr. Vlad addressed the Mentorship Academy class.  He holds an all-too-rare talent:  the ability to speak ‘with’ a person and not ‘at’ them.  Couple that talent with his personable approach, and you have an effective means to connect to students and manage the most challenging or stressful of issues.

Dr. Vlad emphasized to the Mentorship Academy students the importance of a career plan and having a plan-B if things do not go according to one’s initial plan.  He made an impactful point about the difference between one’s responsibility and one’s fault, and how understanding the contrast can make a big difference in life.

After Dr. Vlad wrapped his discussion, Chef Claudy Pierre took over.  Ironically, Chef Claudy’s family also hails from Haiti by way of New York City.  The odds of these two men converging in a room in downtown Pittsburgh to speak to young adults must be astronomical, but that’s part of the serendipitous magic of the CNX Mentorship Academy.

Chef Claudy has an outsized personality that exudes energy, passion, and excitement.  As founder of the EAT Initiative (covered in a prior blog post), Chef has developed and teaches a Knife Skills and Life Skills program, training students in the basics of the culinary arts. After completing the program, students receive a certification that allows them to work in the region’s high-end restaurants and hotels.

Under the direction of Chef, the students prepared lunch in the kitchen and then proceeded to enjoy the result of their efforts.  After about an hour of listening, watching, and performing in the industrial kitchen, several students developed an interest in following up with more extensive training this summer with Chef Claudy.

It was great spending the morning with the students.  It was awesome to do so in a setting as cool as the Energy Innovation Center.  And it was inspiring to watch Dr. Vlad and Chef Claudy do their thing.

The graduation ceremony for the first class of the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy is three weeks away.  Hard to believe the year went by this quickly.  But grateful to be a part of it.

So, the next time you are in a room and two guys named Dr. Vlad and Chef Claudy walk in, pay attention.  You will learn something.

For more information:

The Mentorship Academy is an initiative of CNX Foundation and part of CNX’s commitment to investing in its local community. Designed for high school students who do not plan to immediately attend a four-year college, the Academy is focused on providing urban and rural youth from economically disadvantaged regional Appalachian communities with greater opportunities—helping provide these young adults a bridge to family-sustaining careers. Following the mentorship program, students will have developed new relationships with peers and business leaders across western Pennsylvania, a new excitement for the region’s career opportunities and an understanding of how to pursue those careers.

Business Times: CNX CEO Nick DeIuliis – “Policies hampering natural gas industries”

“CNX Resources Corp. CEO Nicholas J. DeIuliis on Thursday took aim at policies including the Paris Accord and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as well as potential ‘ESG investing gone awry’ that have hampered the natural gas industry, slowed its access to capital markets and made the energy crisis worse.,” reports the Pittsburgh Business Times’ Paul Gough following CNX Resources’ first-quarter 2002 earnings conference call.

Gough writes:

DeIuliis has over the past several years been increasingly vocal in his advocacy for energy and manufacturing, particularly in the Pittsburgh region. He put the blame on policies that have kept the energy industry from being able to grow the way it should, creating prosperity as well as affordable energy costs and straining the security and reliability of the grid. He said the industry, through policies like RGGI, the Paris Accord and ideology, has been “deliberately handcuffed.'”

Click here to read the full article.

Nick Joins ARI’s “New Ideal Live” Podcast

Nick discussed America’s shale revolution on Ayn Rand Institute’s (ARI) “New Ideal Live” podcast. Speaking with Elan Journo, Nick examined the transformation in the U.S. energy industry that dramatically increased domestic production of oil and natural gas. Watch and listen below.

For daily insights and commentary from Nick Deiuliis, follow Nick on Twitter at @NickDeiuliis.

Nick Joins IER’s “Plugged in Podcast”

Nick joined the Institute for Energy Research’s (IER) “Plugged in Podcast” this week to discuss his new book “Precipice.” Speaking with IER’s Alex Stevens and Jordan McGillis, Nick discusses his western Pennsylvania roots; the concept of Creators, Enablers, Servers and those that consume their value (the “Leech”); the importance of risk-taking; common-sense solutions for society to begin change direction; the CNX Mentorship Academy, and more.

 

Visit nickdeiuliis.com/precipice to order “Precipice” and for additional book background; including individual chapters available for online reading and narrated podcasts by Nick that further examine each chapter’s topics. For daily insights and commentary from Nick Deiuliis, follow Nick on Twitter at @NickDeiuliis.

A Flurry of Refining, Prepping, Planning, and Interviewing

Over the past month, senior students in the inaugural class of the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy have been meeting one-on-one with mentors at CNX Resources to accomplish two crucial objectives.

First, to define a preferred career path; in other words, answering the question of, “So, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?”

Second, putting the finishing touches on the plan to land the desired job in the targeted profession:  finalizing impressive resumes, setting a schedule for the coming months tailored to the end goal, and practicing interviewing skills.

Much of the effort invested into the Academy since inception was designed to help students answer the first question of what career they want to pursue.  The numerous site visits to regional employers and trades, presentations by their staff, and hands-on experiences are now paying off.  Students have a greatly expanded awareness of regional careers that don’t require a four-year college degree and that pay family-sustaining wages (with the latter trait making an impression on students as to how, for many majors, college tuition runs the danger of a being a massive losing financial proposition).  Most importantly, students have gained a feel for which career paths interest them most…something this author wishes he would’ve had better awareness of at 18.

But knowing which career paths are preferred is only the first step.

Next comes the methodical process of drafting a resume, refining it, assessing gaps, closing those gaps with experiences and activities, and then finalizing the resume.  If you’ve followed this blog, you know the students have been diligently working on this.  That effort has paid off with resumes that don’t look just good; they look great.

And wouldn’t you know it?  The process of polishing that resume had an ancillary benefit of building up student confidence.  Which is a great ingredient for preparing for, and performing well in the job interview.  Seniors (soon to be high school graduates) have been meeting with mentors one-on-one, talking about what to expect in the interview, how to prepare, and how to leave the right impression.  I wish I could be in the room when these interviews occur, because I have a feeling the students are going to impress.

Many of the seniors have already begun their interviewing.  An impromptu job fair/mini-job shadow rotation was set up at CNX Resources’ main office when senior students made their recent visits, and future operational field site tours are being scheduled for those students who are interested in energy industry careers.

A point of pride was seeing the connection develop between the Mentorship Academy and day-to-day teams at CNX.  In early April 2022, the company now has a list of entry-level job positions that would be great fits for these students once they graduate high school (in less than 60 days!).

The business world speaks of ‘synergies’ all the time, usually to justify certain decisions while ultimately not realizing many of the promised synergies.  But with the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy and CNX Resources Corp., I am happy to report the hoped-for synergies between the two are going to materialize to the benefit of employees, the region, students, and shareholders.

That’s it for now.  This phase of the Academy effort will continue through to summer graduation and, frankly, through the careers of these students.  The tools being developed in the Academy program are for life, not just for this year.  And we start the same process in late April for the juniors in the Academy.  Stay tuned.

Please contact the Academy team at CNXMentorshipAcademy@cnx.com if you:

  • Are interested in interviewing one of our seniors for a job opening;
  • Would like to nominate a rising-senior student for the 2022-2023 CNX Mentorship Academy class; or,
  • Are interested in becoming a mentor or hosting a site visit for the 2022-2023 CNX Mentorship Academy class.
The Mentorship Academy is an initiative of CNX Foundation and part of CNX’s commitment to investing in its local community. Designed for high school students who do not plan to immediately attend a four-year college, the Academy is focused on providing urban and rural youth from economically disadvantaged regional Appalachian communities with greater opportunities—helping provide these young adults a bridge to family-sustaining careers. Following the mentorship program, students will have developed new relationships with peers and business leaders across western Pennsylvania, a new excitement for the region’s career opportunities and an understanding of how to pursue those careers.