Lignite Energy Council sponsors contest for leadership students in Coal Country


More than 80 students from Beulah, Center-Stanton, Hazen, Underwood, and Washburn, ND, high schools learned about mining, reclamation, and power plant environmental compliance on Sept. 19 at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn. The students are part of the Coal Country Leadership Academy, which develops leadership qualities, while giving them networking opportunities with professionals in the lignite industry.

“It’s a great program,” says Steve Van Dyke, vice president of communications with the Lignite Energy Council. “It’s a real opportunity to help shape the employees of tomorrow.”

The day-long session was held as part of a contest being sponsored by the Lignite Energy Council. Van Dyke says that teachers who attend the annual education seminar had approached the Council about developing infographics they could use to help teach their students about the lignite industry, mainly environmental stewardship and reclamation.

“I thought this would be a great project for the leadership students to help us with. It not only gets a young, layman’s perspective on what is important, but also gives them the opportunity to learn a valuable skill – developing an effective infographic,” he says.

Greg Kasowski from KAT Communications gave a presentation to the group about how to create a compelling infographic, as well as where to go for templates. Students have two weeks to develop their submissions, and winners will be announced in mid-October. The first, second, and third-place winners will receive gift cards from Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, ND.

“The students were excited about the contest, and we are, too,” says Van Dyke. “These infographics will not only be beneficial to teachers, but we’ll be able to use them on social media and in the various presentations we do for the community each year.”

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