Education and Training

Freeport-McMoRan supports education initiatives and partnerships through a variety of programs, including grants, professional development opportunities for teachers, education outreach, material and resource development and distribution, and scholarships for students. In particular, we place an emphasis on education that promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to help students acquire the skills necessary for success in a knowledge-based economy and society.

Education is fundamentally important to sustainable communities, states and countries. From preschool programs to universities, schools are an important partner in delivering opportunities for people and communities.

To this end, we have joined a collaborative effort to support two signature initiatives of STEM education: the 100Kin10 STEM Teacher Development Initiative, a national effort, and the Science foundation Arizona’s STEM Network, a statewide effort in which Freeport-McMoRan has taken a lead role.

The 100Kin10 initiative is a multi-sector effort to prepare, deploy and support 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in the United States over the next 10 years. In 2011, we pledged $1.5 million over the next three years to support STEM teacher development programs in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

Since 2008, we have been the leading financial supporter for the establishment of Science Foundation, Arizona’s STEM initiative and the collective work leading to the launch of the Arizona STEM Network, providing a total of $2.2 million. The Network is a statewide effort designed to ensure all available resources are being invested efficiently. It will also support improvements in STEM education through ongoing engagement, monitoring and measurement, technology and logistical support.

Pam Wilkinson ofhte Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources teaching at Thatcher Middle School in Thatcher, Arizona.

Additionally, we are committed to our partnerships with the Arizona universities. For example, we have partnered with the University of Arizona in Tucson for more than 20 years through scholarship support, a $4 million Critical Earth Materials Project enhancing sustainable mining and environmental technologies, significant investments toward the Flandrau Science Center supporting their science center and mineral museum, support of research & training programs as well as various symposiums and industry-related events. The University of Arizona continues to offer a strong engineering program which supports industry-related fields. Several interns and alumni work for Freeport-McMoRan, as there is close exposure to our operations in Sierrita and Sahuarita, Arizona, as well as our reclamation offices in Tucson.  To learn more about an example of one education program, taking place at Safford operations, click here.


We are also invested in training for our workforce.  For example, in partnership with the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Company operates a technical training program to teach and certify tribal members in heavy equipment operations and industrial maintenance.  Additionally, the Mine Training Institute near Sierrita provides a central location where trainers from various sites will receive instruction in the Company’s new technical training curriculum to standardize the training of job competencies for operations and maintenance employees.  Find out more by clicking here.