Globe University–Woodbury students got a chance to connect their education to a real world opportunity when Polymet Mining came to campus for a presentation. Business instructor, Tom Hakko, invited the company to come and speak to students about their mining proposal in the state of Minnesota. Executive Vice President for Environmental and Governmental Affairs, Brad Moore, talked to the students for 45 minutes each, during two sessions.
Polymet is proposing to mine Minnesota’s Duluth Complex, for copper, nickel and other precious metals. The company offers that this project will create hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in state tax revenue. Environmentalists are opposing the project, citing long-term damage to the environment, especially to the nearby Boundary Waters. As this is an increasingly high-profile issue for the state, Hakko believed that students should be informed, as it could effect them, long-term, as residents of Minnesota.
About 75 students and faculty turned out for each of the two sessions. Business administration student, Tyler Scott, said after hearing the presentation, “I don’t think it is a bad plan. The area needs the jobs and the economy needs the money. I don’t think the environment is under threat.”
Cosmetology business student, Niya Thomas, said, “for everything they take away, they are putting more back, environmentally. It is 2014, and we have come a long way from when miners got sick from breathing. Things are different now.”
Tom Hakko said about the presentation and his reasons for bringing Polymet to campus, “It is a human endeavor, done by humans. They will make mistakes. We feel that the students here are entitled to more than just book learning. We want our students to think deeper and consider if this is a reasonable risk. It is a risk—everything we do has some risk. The question to consider is if it is worth it. This is one example of how we are increasing student learning. We are giving these students more value than they expect.”
“It was a typical corporate presentation on changing the environment, but I think if we can trust that Polymet will do what it says it will do, it will be one of the best things to happen to Minnesota, ever. I hope that the long questioning process will force Polymet to make promises and guarantee safety for the state,” veterinary technology student, Kendra Fleming, said about the presentation and getting involved.
Students, as well as the public, are encouraged to get involved and offer their thoughts during the public comments portion of the review. Public comments are open now, by visiting gopolymet.com. Brad Moore reports that as part of the process, every single comment must be responded to or acted upon, accordingly.