Gulf Coast Community Colleges to Host 2nd Women in Industry Conference

Galena Park studentsBuoyed by the success of its 2016 conference, the Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) will host Women in Industry 2017 on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, at South Shore Harbor Resort in League City.

The one-day event is designed to introduce women to the careers and opportunities available in the petrochemical and industrial skills industries, career fields long dominated by males but now open to women.

Last year’s Women in Industry Conference, the first hosted by CCPI, drew more than 250 interested women. More than 350 women from across the Greater Houston area are expected to attend the 2017 event.

”This conference is geared for all women—those unemployed or underemployed, high school or college students, veterans—who desire a well-paying career,” said Debi Jordan, who chairs CCPI.

“Petrochemical refineries need to replace as much as 40 percent of current employees over the next decade—due to plant expansions and an aging workforce,” Jordan said.  “There are plenty of challenging, well-paying career positions available in the Upper Texas Gulf Coast region—and refineries and contractors are looking for trained women to hire.”

Last year’s attendees included high school students, women seeking challenging and better paying jobs, and women already in the field looking to advance in their career path.

Participants will hear from other women who work in the petrochemical and industrial trades industries, and will have the opportunity to talk with college representatives about enrollment, financial aid, and other training-related issues. Several major employers are also expected to be present.

Corporate sponsors for the event include ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips, INEOS, Noltex, the East Harris County Manufacturing Association (ECHMA), and Jacobs.

Registration will be available online shortly. To learn more about attending the Women in Industry conference, or to  become a corporate sponsor,  contact Kelly Dando, CCPI grant coordinator, at 281.425.6221, or kdando@lee.edu.

More than 30 Community College Students Receive Scholarships To Pursue Training for Petrochemical Careers

Community College Petrochemical Initiative enters fourth year

ExxonMobil grant of $300,000 to support key training for skilled workers in a growing industry

2016ccpischolars

With the Gulf Coast area petrochemical industry needing more than 50,000 new workers within the decade, nine community colleges have set out to find and train this “next generation” of skilled workers, enabled by a grant from ExxonMobil.

Now in its fourth year, the Community College Petrochemical Initiative has spread the word across the region that typical salaries in this expanding industry average nearly $100,000 and opportunities are available with those who possess the necessary skills.

Representatives from ExxonMobil and all nine partnering colleges met today at ExxonMobil’s main office building in Baytown to present $45,000 in scholarships to 34 selected students.

ExxonMobil Chemical Company Senior Vice President Matt Aguiar congratulated the students and spoke to why ExxonMobil continues to invest in the program. “We continue to see great progress as these colleges educate, train and develop candidates to fill the increasing number of jobs in the petrochemical industry,” Aguiar said. “Because of the ongoing success, I’m proud to announce that ExxonMobil is providing another $300,000 for this important training program.”

ExxonMobil has contributed more than $1.8 million towards training skilled new workers. This is the third consecutive year that the initiative and ExxonMobil have brought together new recipients to present scholarships and encourage them in their educational pursuits.

2016 scholarship recipients include:

  • Alvin Community College: Jaecen Foytik, Andrew Flores, Mandi McLemore, Clarence Johnson
  • Brazosport College: Rigoberto Cardenas, Patrick Haynes, Zackary Nieto, Yolanda Richo, Hong To
  • College of the Mainland: Brandon Abshier, Richard Ahamba, Louis Maldonado, Cristina Tobias
  • Galveston College: Zachary Davis, Jacob Mares, Fabian Urias
  • Houston Community College: Cajetan Nwachukwu
  • Lee College: Ellis Dorrance, Marisela Morales, Camrin Lynn, Gerardo Palominos, Estaban Sanchez
  • Lone Star College: Benjamin A.  Brown, Douglas Bragg, Baleriano V. Perez
  • San Jacinto College: Robert Aquilera, Jose Arias, Veronica Cortes, Victavia Owens, Nghi Nguyen
  • Wharton County Junior College: Al’lon Jones, Carl Jones, Johnathan Klotz, Rocio Salazar Yepez

Tips for Returning to College as an Adult

adultstudentsOne of the best things we see come out of the Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) and other Texas Gulf Coast Consortium of Community College (TGCCCC) programs is adults returning to school to improve their quality of life. We know there are challenges that come with a return to the classroom when you’re in another stage of life, but we’re also well aware of the rewards and love celebrating them with students every day. If you’re returning to school this coming fall, we invite you to read these tips we’ve put together to help make your experience at a Texas Gulf Coast Community College better.

Find the Right Campus for You

Affordability and proximity to work and home are two factors that often rank high in importance for adults returning to school. We also see students who need services that cater to their nontraditional needs including expanded certificate and degree options and online and evening classes, which you can find on our campuses. In TGCCCC, we have nine colleges offering a variety of certification and degree programs in STEM and petrochemical fields, some with multiple campuses, across the Houston Metro area and Gulf Coast region so you’re never far from the classroom.

Stay on Top of Your College’s Academic Calendar

Once you’ve found the campus and program that fits you, it’s important to begin familiarizing yourself with the campus academic calendar. You’ll want to take a look at the calendar for your first year, and plan on revisiting it every semester until you graduate. Academic calendars contain important dates related to the beginning of your career such as registration, financial aid and scholarship application deadlines. As you progress in your area of study, you’ll want to be aware of deadlines specific to your degree or certification such as applications for graduating and certificate and licensure tests. Write these dates down so you’re prepared to submit paperwork and funds necessary for each deadline.

Guidance and Mentorship

Once you’re enrolled, make sure you take advantage of getting your degree or certification program mapped out by your academic adviser(s). This will help you understand where you are, what your end goal is, and how long it will take to get there based on course load each semester. Take advantage of relationships that you can form with professors and department heads. While many people who work in higher education have full schedules each week, you’ll find they are very willing to take time to mentor you and help you reach your goals.

Create Your Own Study Area

TGCCCC Petrochemical DegreesMuch like if you have a home office for a business, you need to set up your desk or another area in your home to be productive and disciplined for your studies. Find a place where you’re comfortable, the room is well lit, and it is distinguishable as your own workspace. A designated workspace will also help your family, friends and kids understand boundaries and times that you need that space to be for you.

Build a Study Routine

There’s a good reason (and if you’re a parent, you probably know this) that study routines are created for children: they keep them engaged and actually working. While as adults we have a bit more discipline to take care of our daily duties, routines are still helpful for keeping us accountable. Map out your weekly schedule – including classes, work schedule, and family commitments. Schedule dedicated times to study and complete course work. Even if you don’t map out every hour precisely, at least having blocks in your schedule for the major things that occur daily will help ensure that you’re not falling behind.

Ask for Help

Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Even with a thought-out schedule, it’s possible to feel overworked and stretched thin in other areas of your life. Ask for family and friends to assist you with chores and errands when necessary. Ask for encouragement. Reach out to your classmates if you’re missing lecture notes at any point or want to form a study group. Visit with your professors during their office hours if you have questions about assignments, study habits, or a grade you received.

Make Connections

Even as you add on more hours to your day with a school schedule, don’t completely push your social life off to the side. Going back to school at a community college means you’ll probably be in classes with people both younger and older than you, so take advantage of the opportunity to make friends with people you probably wouldn’t be connected with otherwise. Your life will improve academically and socially if you embrace this opportunity.

Balance Work, School, and Life

socialPerspectiveIf all you do is work and never allow any time for some play, you’ll hit periods of burnout and no motivation. Find some time weekly for hobbies or fun time and don’t overfill your schedule. Leave time open for things like going to the gym, spending time with your kids – and sleep. You’ll be a lot more productive in the classroom and be in a better mood daily.

Celebrate Success

Every grade earned, course completed, and award received is another step towards graduation. Don’t wait until you walk across the stage to celebrate. Take time to enjoy the simple things like a movie, sporting event, or concert as rewards along the way for your studies.

Be Flexible

No matter how well you plan for going back to school, life will still continue to happen along the way. Take time at the halfway point or even quarterly each semester to evaluate your schedule, habits and commitments. Remember how we talked about balance earlier? If you feel the scale of your life tipping too far one way, change up your routine to balance it back out. The journey to graduation is a marathon, not a sprint.

Embrace the Opportunity

Yes, there will be challenges as you expand your current schedule to include academic pursuits as an adult. The good news is everyone is afforded the same 24 hours in a day. You just need to know how to use those hours wisely. Yes, you may have to say ‘no’ to some things you were once able to say ‘yes’ to easily, but these are short-term tradeoffs for the financial and lifestyle freedom that you’ll be afforded once you complete your degree.

Managing Your Link Quality

For those who want to change their career, but have to get a new degree, there is financial help available. There are many types of scholarships available to graduate students the same as there are many grant programs available. Knowing the main types of scholarships is imperative to financial success.

College education and scholarshipsScholarships

If you want to cover all of your post-graduate expenses with a single scholarship, you can apply for scholarships which are considered the largest dollar scholarships. The largest dollar amount scholarships offer lucrative opportunities for anyone trying to finance continuing education. The first of these is the IPSOS i-say scholarship. This scholarship is worth five thousand dollars and has an application deadline of the thirtieth of September each year. Anyone who is a legal resident of the United States or of Canada and is at least fourteen years of age may participate in the scholarship so long as they do not have relatives who are part of the IPSOS Company.

One such scholarship is the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. It was created in 1999 and since then has provided students in all disciplines to complete the undergrad and graduate education they need. Scholarships and grants are one way that people raise money for education. Others use online gambling to get extra income.

Online Gambling

Play Online BlackjackOnline gambling has become a popular way for people to make extra cash because it is much more convenient than traditional gambling. Most of the time, traditional gambling costs people money right from the start, including travel, lodging, and money for gambling. It costs time too. Games where you can play blackjack online do not come with any of these costs. In fact, the only cost is the deposit, the money with which one gambles and in most cases, online sites give a matching bonus for newcomers which can almost double that amount. The costs of operating online are so much lower that players can win more money, more often.

Of course, in order to get people to play online, casinos need to use proper links to drive traffic to their online gambling sites.

As a casino owner it is important that you manage your inbound link quality and quantity. The problem lies in determining how much time to spend on inbound links. These links come from other sites back to your page. They are referred to as incoming links, back links, inlinks, and inward links. Caring about the quality and quantity of inbound links is important because it is an imperative manner in which your website is found online. In order to have your website found, you must rank high on search engines. In order to do this you must utilize SEO which includes inbound links. Inbound links have quickly become one of the biggest indicators of the quality of your website content. As such, inbound links are an important facet of keeping a high rank among search engine results.

This begins with getting links posted on relevant directories. But be cautious of using back-link repositories. Search engines are improving to notice when people are using link brokerage services or spamming their links all over the internet and website owners are being penalized. Those sites which are found to have these spam links receive a low quality rank. The more low-quality ranks you have the lower your site will rate overall.

The Positive Impact of Facebook and SEO

Better education benefits everyone

For anyone looking to earn an associate degree in petrochemical and healthcare studies, there are ways to get financing. Scholarships come in many forms. With the internet you are able to apply for scholarships no matter your field of study or year. There are online scholarship databases which allow you to fill out your profile and information, and they will match you with qualifying scholarships and grants. After that you just need to apply for scholarships which match. 

Maximizing merit-based funding

First, fill out the FAFSA. Again, even if you cannot receive scholarships, having this financial information on file with the federal government might qualify you for low-rate loans at the very least. You can access school-based, state-based, or federally-funded scholarships with the information you fill out in the FAFSA. Another location is Meritaid.com where you can find merit-based scholarships best suited to your achievements and field of study. One other way that some people find funding is through online gambling.

Online gambling growth

Online gambling has grown in popularity because of its ease of use, variety, and the higher payouts it affords players. Sites like playpokiesonline.org let people play for real money with higher wins, and more frequent wins. However, gambling sites that let you play for real money are constantly in competition with one another precisely because the costs of operation are so low that just about anyone can get involved. So, they have to advertise well online to draw in customers.

The positive impact of Facebook and SEO for online gambling sites cannot be underestimated. When you use Facebook as a small business you are able to target Play Pokies Online anytimean audience in a manner which is most appealing to them. Facebook is one of the best social media to use for SEO because it allows companies entire profiles.

Facebook originated as a place for college kids to find other students at their school but has developed into something much more. Now it functions as both a social network and a means of finding businesses like online casinos. Here, as an online casino business, you are able to incorporate SEO tactics while building a positive customer relationship. You can respond directly to inquiries by responding to a client’s wall and posting a response. You can build relationships here that you cannot build in other capacities.

In terms of your rank for your company website, Google will look into the quality and quantity of links back to your gambling website. Without buying backlinks, you can use Facebook to positively impact your company by increasing the backlinks to your website. Facebook also allows you to directly determine what your customers like and do not like. With the new “like” button, you can see which customers and how many are fans of something that you post. This functions as free market evaluation for your company which saves you time and money and also generates instant results. If you post an event invitation or a press release link you can instantly see how many of your customers and other viewers are a fan and therefore like your content. If very few people like your content, then you know to go a different route. Customers are not limited just to “liking” something, but rather, they can post actual comments. Customers and viewers can respond to the content and links you post and help provide you with useful marketing information.

 

Top Best Field Of Study To Graduate With

The ways our society is changing, actually, suggests us all that something should be also changing in the ways students look at their future. Future life depends mostly on the educational choices of our time. That’s why it’s always very important to be able to get to a correct study decision, it’s consequences will be influencing our life forever.

10 Degrees For University Students

If you are a university student or you will be one very soon, get a clue of the most profitable fields of study you may want to choose for finding a future job opportunity. Keep in mind that certain fields of study are booming, while others are having a less successful evolvement:

  • 1. Biometrical engineering
  • 2. Structural engineering
  • 3. Architecture and Design
  • 4. Foreign Languages
  • 5. Physician Assistance
  • 6. Environmental engineering
  • 7. Web developmentmath
  • 8. Aeronautical engineering
  • 9. Computer science and mathematics
  • 10. Nursing and medicine

Mathematicians Explains Hidden Secrets of Gambling

It may apparently sound weird, but math is a fundamental discipline to study, not only for getting access to important job positions, but also for entertainment! Actually, there are famous mathematicians who could reveal most unknown game secrets to win more often at certain casino games, like the roulette for example.

Mathematicians use their knowledge of numbers, the recurrence of certain number, the probability cases and other study cases from statistics that help determine how often a certain number out of the 36 roulette slots may pop up.

osiris casinoGames For Real Money Don’t Scare Anyone

Once you get a clue of the most potential probabilities of each number to come up in a roulette spin, you will feel more comfortable when placing a real money casino bet at that game.

Today, you can access numerous online casino games and put in practice what mathematicians and other experts tell about numbers and best secret to win more often. Osiris Casino is one of the safest places where you may want to try a roulette.

Consider that safety and security are everything when it comes to positive gambling experience: Osiris Casino ensures all its thousands of casino players a good and pleasant casino game play. It’s a completely secured and protected casino environment, licensed under the government of Curacao.

Some Of The Best Games

Osiris Casino is run by a team of casino experts who are particularly proud of offering their large pool of casino players exclusive games, all the latest news from the casino market and many, many types of different bonuses and promotions.

Some of the best casino games offered by Osiris Casino include:

  • Instant play games: you can try these games for free, since they’re demo free game versions of real money original games
  • An extensive number of real money games in all category and for everyone
  • Live casino games, the ideal choice to experience a genuine Vegas rush
  • A consistent amount of slots and scratch card games
  • Table games and video poker games represent the main pillars in the game range of Osiris Casino

 

Women in Industry Conference Turnout Exceeds Expectations


Some 468 area women packed into the North Ballroom of Galveston’s Hotel Galveston on Friday, Feb. 19, eager to learn about careers in the petrochemical and industrial trades industries.

The number far exceeded the expectations of conference planners for this first-ever event.

“It told us there are many capable women interested in well-paying, challenging careers in what were once male-dominated industries,” said Debi Jordan, spokesperson for the Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI), which sponsored the event, along with several major industrial partners.

“Women came to learn about careers as process operators, instrumentation technicians, analytic techs, as well as welders, crane operators, electricians, and other skilled craft positions,” Jordan said. “They have read that industry is looking to hire more women, and they are stepping forward.”

During the morning, participants heard from women already working in the field. In the afternoon, they heard how to prepare for those careers, with information about how to train, network, interview, and succeed on the job.

Galena Park students

Students from Galena Park ISD pose after the Women in Industry Conference outside Hotel Galvez.


NASA’s Ginger Kerrick was the keynote speaker. Kerrick is a Flight Director in the Mission Control Center at the NASA Johnson Space Center, who has, to date, supported 13 International Space Station and five joint shuttle missions.

Her topic, “The Right Stuff,” echoed a major theme of the day-long event: that women with resolve, preparation and perseverance can succeed in any career they pursue.

Sponsors of the event were the area’s nine community colleges and CCPI members: Alvin Community College, Brazosport College, College of the Mainland, Galveston College, Houston Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College, and Wharton County Junior College.

Industry sponsors included ExxonMobil, Jacobs, LyondellBasell, Zachry, Chevron Phillips, Covestro, INEOS, Noltex, and Occidental Chemical.

Working as a Contractor

Work for yourself

If you are looking to start a career in pipeline fields or healthcare fields, you need to first consider financial coverage. Grants offer many financial options to cover the cost of school. Look for schools that offer the most need-based aid such as private schools boasting of large endowments or state-funded public universities. Look for grants that are awarded for things beyond need, such as field of study. You might benefit too from contacting the graduate school finance aid office and asking for any additional opportunities they have available or know are available from private sources.

There are certain graduate grants linked to specific functions such as those pursing a degree in a high-demand field or those pursing a medical degree. Then there are subject-specific grants for those who are highly qualified and pursuing a specific subject. Specific groups and minorities can capitalize upon grants designed to promote their cases.

Starting Your Career

Once you get your career started, you can begin to work for yourself as a contractor. Contracting work in professional fields like that of a plumber, electrician, or someone who manages heating and air conditioning mean you can get your own hours and work for yourself. It also means that other people can get ahold of you through a contracting website. Using an online contractor search, people in need of professionals can find the most qualified ones. People need help finding those contractors who are qualified, those who have the right educational parameters, and the right experience.

Using an Online Search Service

With an online search, people can find listings for the different types of contractors they need in their home. A homeowner or business, for example, might want to install an eco-friendly version of their heating and air conditioning system. To make these upgrades and comply with certain government regulations, they need an expert. But not just any expert. They want someone who has installed the same systems before. They want someone who has installed these systems on the same scale. They want people who have expert qualifications and some sort of education to support their work. Having a degree in the applicable field will make you stand out as one such person. With that degree, you can begin to acquire the work experience you need to get higher paid positions, to work with more advanced systems, and to be that one expert contractor that people and businesses look for online.

When you work as a contractor, you can set up information online that is easily found through a contractor search. You can work with third party websites and set up agreements where they post information perhaps like a CV or a phone number with working hours for appointment setting. With a third party website you can also send over customers who are happy with your work, and let them post reviews so that other potential customers can read them. All of this benefits the customers as much as it does the contractors, helping to separate good from bad.

 

How Much More Can I Earn with an Associate Degree?

Community College Isn’t Just a Stepping Stone

For many people, the community college experience is a major step toward improving their quality of life. Every semester, students of backgrounds ranging from recent high school graduates to adults continuing their education enroll in community colleges across the country to start their journeys to great careers. But, what if I told you that the journey isn’t as long as you think, and that some of the best returns on your investment come with an associate’s degree?nurse

If you’re skeptical about the idea that earning an associate’s degree alone can improve your ability to be competitive in the work force, then consider a few points. A person with an associate degree earns on average $15,200 more each year throughout the course of a working lifetime than someone with only a high school diploma. Community colleges tend to offer associate degrees and certification programs related to industries in their areas. At TGCCCC, we work with businesses and organizations within our region so we can offer the programs and training that help our students land jobs in their respective industries.

Gulf Coast Jobs for A.S. Degrees

In the past year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a list with the top 20 highest paying occupations with an associate degree, with positions ranging from about $50,000 to more than $120,000 in median annual salary. It’s estimated that around 1.6 million new and replacement jobs will be added in the Gulf Coast region by 2020, and these positions will be centered on the healthcare, skilled labor, petrochemical, and technology industries that are growing and flourishing in our region.

The tuition and fees for the average campus-based or online associate degree program average around $5,000 for two years of study. While earning your associate degree at a community college, you’ll have the flexibility to take as many or as few classes as you want, with no penalty for not meeting the status of full-time student. That gives you ultimate flexibility for your work or family commitments. An associate degree education from a community college opens doors for your future at a fraction of the cost of a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university.

One of the great things about making your way through the journey of life is that you never stop learning, whether that’s inside the classroom or out. We know that some of you may choose to return to the classroom later after earning you’re A.S. to pursue a bachelor’s and grow your skillset and advancement opportunities. And, those hours you spent on the associate degree transfer to state universities to apply to your four-year degree. With an associate degree, you’ve taken an important step toward a better career and more opportunities that you simply don’t have with just a high school diploma or GED.

By investing in an associate degree at a community college, you’ll receive the education you deserve from faculty who have worked in the field and can help you become career-ready in an intimate setting. We hope you choose to further your education at a Texas Gulf Coast Community College.

How a 1-Year Certificate Turned into a Dream Job for a San Jacinto College Student

Robin Coto turned a one-year certificate from San Jacinto College into a dream job.

Coto has come a long way in a short time, starting out as a painter’s helper and working his way up to a management position at Penske’s Houston regional collision repair center. The center provides collision repair services for all Penske lease vehicles for the entire Gulf Coast region.

Coto earned an occupational certificate in automotive collision repair technology from San Jacinto College in 2007, and shortly afterwards was hired in an entry-level position at Penske. With technical skills and enthusiasm, he went from painter’s helper to lead painter in a matter of months. He had dreamed of such a job, and he was determined to excel.

“I always enjoyed working with cars and trucks,” Coto commented. “In high school, after painting my first car, I knew at that moment that is what I wanted to do.”

Auto bodywork is a specialized, skilled craft, and Coto knew that to go far would require training.

“I chose San Jacinto College because I had heard their training was top notch and very hands-on,” he said. “Glen Kirkwood, collision repair instructor at the North Campus, interacts well with students and keeps them engaged. He would explain to us students how to do paint and bodywork, but he would not do the work for us. We would have to learn through experience. I think that’s why the program is so successful.”

Coto has been doing vehicle bodywork for 12 years now. He especially likes working as production manager at the Penske collision repair center, which services a wide range of vehicles, from trucks and vans to large 18-wheeler rigs. Kirkwood is proud of the way Coto has applied himself and rapidly advanced.

“What’s really impressive is how Robin has adapted to a different style of bodywork,” he commented. “Our program does not specifically train to do bodywork on larger vehicles like 18-wheelers, which requires working with quite a few different tools and techniques. It shows how our students can excel if they are willing to grow and continue to learn.”

A large percentage of the employees at the Penske collision repair shop are San Jac Certified, having graduated from the San Jacinto College auto collision repair program.

“When possible, I try to hire a San Jac graduate when a new position comes open,” commented Coto. “They are well trained, dedicated, and have enthusiasm. They want to learn new techniques and are eager to keep up with new trends and developments. That’s a good work ethic.”

Coto’s training in auto collision repair has led to other unexpected dividends.

“Some colleagues and I started a used-car sales business,” he said. “We buy cars at auction, I do body repair work and do some body customizing, and we then offer the vehicles for sale. Not long after start-up, the business was turning a profit.”

Graduates of San Jacinto College’s auto collision technology program generally have no problem finding jobs. During the past five years, the job placement rate for graduates has been 90 percent or higher. The pay scale is generally above average compared to other skilled craft jobs. According to the Texas Workforce Commission Texas Cares website, the median annual wage in the Gulf Coast region for auto body technicians is $42,432.

“Considering that a person with only one year of college training can be earning around $42,000 not long after graduation, I think that is very impressive,” commented Eddie Foster, North Campus industrial technology department chair. “That’s as good as some career fields that require four-year college degrees.”

San Jacinto College offers automotive collision repair technology courses and degree options at the North Campus. For more information, please visit sanjac.edu/career/auto-collision-repair.

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