JACKSON TWP.  NEXUS Gas Transmission has presented Stark State College with a $50,000 scholarship donation.

According to a news release, Stark State is located near the proposed NEXUS gas pipeline route and offers relevant training for many careers in the oil and gas industry. As indicated by the college, the one-time donation will be used to support industry related programs, scholarships or training facility improvement for students pursuing certification and training to work in the oil and gas industry.

“We are grateful for this donation and the ability to use it to directly support hands-on training activities related to OSHA Safety Classes, Environmental Compliance Sampling of soils, water and air, and Department of Transportation (DOT)-required Operator Qualification training,” said Stark State College President Para M. Jones in a news release. “These skills and certifications are critical components of the labor force needs related to gas, water and other infrastructure projects throughout the region.”

The college executed a memorandum of understanding with NEXUS to ensure that funds are allocated to directly benefit students specializing in training for the oil and gas industry. If dollars are allocated for a student scholarship, Stark State officials will select the recipient and determine how the funds will be distributed.

“We value the role that Stark State College plays in educating and training the labor force in the region,” said NEXUS Spokesman Adam Parker in a news release. “Stark State has a positive reputation for attracting and retaining the most talented students and we are proud to support their efforts. Our investment today is rooted in our commitment to help build a highly skilled employee base in communities where we work and operate.”

The NEXUS project is a proposed 255-mile natural gas pipeline that would run from eastern Ohio - through northern Stark County and the Portage Lakes area of Summit County - and eventually to existing pipeline system interconnects in southeastern Michigan. The proposed pipeline has been under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) review and permitting process since 2015. A decision on the Project’s Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity is pending.

Construction of the NEXUS project is estimated to support 6,800 jobs, more than $650 million in wages, and $830 million in total economic activity. In its first five years of operation, NEXUS will generate an estimated cumulative tax revenue of $412 million, of which approximately $116 million will go directly to local school districts in Ohio.

Opposition against the pipeline's route has been ongoing since the plans were announced. The city of Green within the past month has donated $10,000 to the grassroots nonprofit organization Coalition to Reroute Nexus (CORN) to help it in a the legal battle to have the pipeline shifted south and through a less populated area. City officials have also been against the route and on May 2 approved spending up to $100,000 to hire a law firm that specializes in environmental law to help in a potential legal battle.

Green officials estimate that if the pipeline goes through the city, it would cause a $120 million to $150 million negative economic impact over the next 30 to 50 years.