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National Coal Transportation Association

Scholarship Programs

 One of the primary objectives of NCTA as an organization is to provide education to its members. NCTA is proud to be able to fund a scholarship program with the goal of providing educational benefit for the future of the coal and transportation industry as well as giving back to the membership through eight annual scholarship awards of $1,500 each.

Member’s Children Scholarship

NCTA awards four of these scholarships on an annual basis to dependent sons and daughters of full time employees of NCTA member companies in good standing; Member’s Children Scholarships. These awards are given to students who are entering their college junior or senior year at any accredited non-profit college or university. Applicants are asked to complete NCTA’s scholarship application that is available through NCTA’s website. Semi-finalists are selected primarily on the basis of academic merit by the NCTA’s Education Committee. Consideration is also given to students with a stated interest in a career in the coal, electric utility or transportation industries as reflected by the NCTA field of membership. The final award selections are made by the NCTA Education Committee and are featured in an issue of the Coal Transporter magazine, the official publication of NCTA.

University Awarded Scholarship

NCTA also provides four annual scholarships to four universities representing the service territories of our members. The faculty or dean of the university or college then chooses the applicant and notifies NCTA of the award recipients. Currently these scholarships are being awarded to:

University of Arizona College of Engineering

University of Wyoming College of Engineering

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Mining Department

University of West Virginia, School of Mining

David L. Laffere Memorial Scholarship

At present, all eight scholarships that are awarded by the NCTA are funded yearly out of the general operating budget. In 2009, NCTA established a scholarship in memory of our dear friend and colleague, David L. Laffere. David was manager for fuels for Kansas City Power and Light Company and was also one of NCTA’s Board of Directors who died tragically in a car accident on June 2, 2009. David was a truly special person who gave generously of his time and energy to this organization and we wish to honor his memory with an educational award to continue into the future.

Full endowment of the David Laffere Memorial scholarship has not yet been achieved. However, the Education Committee of the NCTA has named one the Member’s Children Scholarships, the David Laffere Memorial Scholarship and is continuing to accept donations for full endowment.

“The best thing about this job is the relationships I’ve developed with people in all industries related to coal production.” – David L. Laffere

NCTA Education Committee

The NCTA Education Committee consists of Education Committee Chairman, Mindy Watson-Ward of Cloud Peak Energy and NCTA Board member and Vice Chairman of the Education Committee, Randy Van Aartsen from We Energies. Mindy and Randy are dedicated to serving the objective of the scholarship program and are always looking for ways to make the Education Committee responsive to the future of the coal transportation industry and to serve the NCTA’s membership.