Inside Aera
People of Aera May 14, 2019

Coalinga employee uses educational assistance program to fulfill lifelong dream

Jason Lopez says his family is what fuels him to succeed. Lopez is pictured here with his two children; son Jayden, daughter Elise and newest addition, daughter Eliana. Not pictured, is his wife Maritza.

Jason Lopez wanted to attend college, but couldn’t afford it, so he turned to the educational assistance program offered by Aera Energy, where he has worked for nearly 13 years.

The program provides a real, tangible way for the company to invest in its people. After all, it is the people of Aera that form its foundation.   The program enables employees to continue their education by reimbursing up to $8,000 a year for tuition and related expenses.

Lopez, a production operator in Coalinga, has firsthand experience with this valuable program.

“I have been able to attend college because of this program,” Lopez said. “I would not have been able to afford the high cost of tuition otherwise. I am so thankful to the leadership team at Aera who had the care and foresight to know that a trained and educated workforce is worth investing in. I came to work at Aera almost 13 years ago, and the importance of learning new things, training, education and continuous improvement have always been valued.”

Aera prioritizes attracting, engaging and retaining strong talent and encourages career development. The educational assistance program is a critical component in helping the company create a work environment where employees can connect, grow and thrive.

A deep appreciation for the employees and their professional development inspires Aera to invest in them in ways that allow them to grow both personally and professionally. Eagerness to pursue higher education positively impacts the team at Aera with top-notch talent, but it doesn’t stop there. Their hard work is helping create better futures for their families.

“There have been many long hours of study after working all day,” Lopez said, “but I know the knowledge I’ve gained will help me be a more valuable employee. It has also been extremely important that my kids [see me] work through the process. Now, they, too, will be more likely to attend college. My wife has been so patient and supportive of me as well; I could not have done it without her. Ultimately, I give God all the credit for helping me work through my degree completion plan.”

Lopez graduated this month with honors and with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

“Programs like this are so important because not everyone is in a place to afford college,” Lopez said. “Aera gave me an opportunity to pursue my education while working full-time and raising a family. This experience has truly helped me as an employee, as a business person, and in many other areas of my personal life.” 

After graduating, Lopez plans to continue his education by pursing a master’s degree, for which Aera also has an educational assistance program.

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