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Valuing Education

Pioneer emphasizes education and has demonstrated its commitment through a number of successful programs, large and small, partnering with our employees, local communities, community colleges and large universities. In addition to supporting the engineering and geoscience schools of several major universities as well as providing financial and intellectual resources for several programs that enlighten, assist and encourage students in K-12, Pioneer has taken the initiative to partner with a local community college to develop new training opportunities and to create two scholarship programs.

The EPIC Program
As the largest employer in Las Animas County, Colorado, and the largest natural gas producer in the Raton Basin, Pioneer partnered with Trinidad State Junior College  to design and develop the Energy Production and Industrial Construction (EPIC) Program,  which launched in fall 2006. The EPIC Program offers training in Welding, Diesel Mechanics and Heavy Equipment Operations to meet employment needs of the industry and to prepare students for entry-level employment in the field of coal bed methane production and related industrial construction. Program enrollment increased more than 100 percent in 2007, from 46 students last year to 100-plus students this fall.

EPIC donationPioneer has provided more than $60,000 worth of welding equipment for the EPIC Program and recently donated a backhoe, excavator and winch truck to allow students to gain hands-on experience. Pioneer’s total investment in equipment for the three courses involved in the EPIC Program is approximately $300,000. Together with Trinidad State Junior College, Pioneer has created a unique training program which has gained interest from several other oil and gas companies seeking to hire qualified well-trained employees.

Scholarship Assistance
Pioneer formed its Scholarship Foundation in 1993 to provide scholarships to worthy candidates. Awards are primarily based on the student's academic achievement, financial need and extracurricular involvement in the community.  The scholarship committee carefully considers many qualified applications from children of Pioneer employees  to select scholarship recipients. Since its inception, the Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than $240,000 in scholarships to children of Pioneer’s employees.

Pioneer has also sponsored scholarships for one local, incoming freshman entering Trinidad State Junior College each year since 2004. This scholarship demonstrates the Company’s belief in helping young adults by encouraging education while also supporting the local community.

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