innovation trail

Mentorship in digital age can be blend of old, new

Dec 30, 2016
Denise Young / Innovation Trail

Sarah Bowman Davila never thought she’d own her own business.

A licensed clinical social worker, she had always worked for agencies, providing counseling to teenagers, women and people with chemical dependencies, among others.

But an opportunity — and someone who would prove to be a caring guide in her life — changed her career path.

In an effort to tighten the middle-skills gap and change the way people think about manufacturing jobs, Kodak's Eastman Business Park opened its doors to hundreds of high school students for a show and tell Thursday.

People who work in the field and hiring managers from local manufacturing companies spoke to the students about taking advantage of future job openings in the area. Through videos and panel discussions, the teens got a glimpse of daily work duties, which classes and programs will help them to prepare, and compensation and benefits.

Making energy from waste: the other natural gas

Feb 17, 2016
Rebecca Jacobson / Inside Energy

Every day, a facility on the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado, takes in 8 million gallons of what people have flushed down their toilets and washed down their sinks. The water coming out the other end of the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant is cleaner than the Colorado River it flows into.

The organic solids strained from that water are now serving a new purpose -- producing fuel for city vehicles.

WATCH: The 'Tube Whisperer'

Feb 3, 2016
Jim Day

Soon after starting a volunteer position at R Community Bikes, a nonprofit that collects and repairs used bicycles to give away to needy children, Mark Yesul of Rochester, New York, found a new way to run things.

Mark uses his unusual ability to focus and passion for repetitive action to improve a tube repair system in ways most would overlook. The result is more bikes to more kids.

R Community Bikes also gives away bikes to community organizations and people with disabilities.

WATCH: How a coal plant is cleaning up its act

Jan 22, 2016
Reid Frazier, The Allegheny Front

The Homer City Generating Station rises like a cathedral out of a valley in Indiana County, just east of Pittsburgh. You can see its smokestacks and hour-glass shaped cooling towers from miles around. 

Like many coal plants around the country, workers at Homer City are busy installing pollution controls to comply with new clean air rules imposed by the EPA.

These units take out sulfur and other harmful pollutants, like mercury. Total cost? $750 million.

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