At Spire, we believe energy exists to help make people's lives better. It's a simple idea, but one that's at the heart of our company. We know the important role we play in helping over 1.7 million families and business owners fuel their daily lives through our gas utilities that serve Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri. To make good on our mission to "answer every challenge, advance every community and enrich every life through the strength of our energy," we need to include our employees every step of the way.
Inclusion is a core value at Spire, and we strive to cultivate a workforce reflective of the diverse communities we serve. While over the past several years, we have improved how we recruit and hire diverse candidates, we still strive to ensure our industry is a top choice for tomorrow's top talent. Our recruitment efforts include partnerships with organizations that focus on the technical skills needed for our field-based positions. Thr;ough these partnerships, we create awareness and interest in our company and our high-growth career opportunities and continue to make Spire an even better place to work.
To advance our efforts in recruiting youth and young adults to our company, Spire developed a partnership in 2012 with North Technical High School (North Tech) in St. Louis. North Tech proved to be a great partner because we're aligned in our values and mission to make people's lives better. Both organizations also believe that public-private partnerships can create great models and programs to ensure talent in our region is prepared for the workforce needs of today and tomorrow. The program is designed to introduce students to Spire and expose them to available entry-level jobs. We focus on high school seniors with at least a 3.0 GPA, working closely with the school to develop relevant and meaningful content for the students. This includes presentations about Spire, the energy industry, personal experiences and career paths at our company. In addition, Spire employees demonstrate actual on-the-job activities used every day, and students tour company facilities and observe utility work being performed.
Over the past seven years, 143 students have participated and 18 have been hired into full-time positions.
As a company that employs thousands of people, it's our duty and privilege to create an inclusive work environment where everyone feels safe, respected and treated with dignity. And when that environment of inclusion thrives within our company, it also shows up in our communities-creating lasting change in how we treat one another in and outside of work.
It's a big responsibility, but it's one I'm grateful to join my fellow CEOs in taking on by becoming a signatory of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. While my name officially appears on the pledge, it represents the thousands of employees at Spire who work to create an inclusive environment every day. Together, we're honoring our mission to advance every community we serve.