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The Air Products Foundation has awarded a grant that will provide scholarships for minority and women students at Kutztown University, the Lehigh County-based company announced Thursday.

“Air Products and Kutztown University have a long-standing relationship and, as an alumna, I know their programs are top notch,” said Rachel Roland, manager of employee communications. “

“So many qualified female and minority students just need a leg up to compete,” she said. “When they succeed, our community succeeds.”

Kutztown will receive two scholarships for communications studies majors. Muhlenberg College and DeSales University will each receive four scholarships for accounting and computer science majors. The total of the grants is $50,000.

Alex Ogeka, executive director of the Kutztown University Foundation, thanked Air Products for its generosity and long-standing commitment to higher education.

“This type of support is truly transformational for a young person with a dream of earning a degree,” he said.

Simon Moore, vice president of corporate relations, said diversity is one of Air Products’ core values.

“We are always seeking ways to support the communities in which we live and work,” he said. “This is a win-win opportunity to support female and minority students, while deepening our relationships with the community.”

Air Products recently announced new goals to increase the percentage of women and minorities in professional and managerial positions. By 2025, the company has a goal of having women in at least 28 percent of professional and managerial positions globally. And, 20 percent of minority representation in the same positions in the U.S.

Given the COVID-19 crisis, Air Products has provided paid virtual internships to 75 students since March.

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