More than 35 Community College Students Receive Scholarships to Pursue Chemical Industry Careers

  • Community College Petrochemical Initiative workforce education program extended to fifth year
  • Additional $200,000 ExxonMobil grant to support training for skilled workers in expanding industry
  • ExxonMobil has contributed more than $2 million toward training skilled workers

Baytown, Texas — Representatives from ExxonMobil and all nine Houston-area Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) partnering colleges convened today at ExxonMobil’s office in Baytown to present $45,000 in scholarships to 38 selected students. The program, entering its fifth year with an additional $200,000 grant from ExxonMobil, supports efforts by Houston’s leading community colleges to prepare thousands of local residents for high-paying jobs in the growing local chemical manufacturing industry. ExxonMobil has contributed more than $2 million toward training new workers since the program’s launch.

Enrollment in training programs have grown significantly. The initiative has created greater awareness of opportunities available to those who possess the necessary skills with potential salaries averaging nearly $100,000 a year.

Mike Zamora, director of Americas Regional Manufacturing for ExxonMobil Chemical Company, congratulated the students and spoke to ExxonMobil’s long-time interest in workforce development and continuing investment in the program.

“The Community College Petrochemical Initiative partnership is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when employers and educators work together,” Zamora said. “As shown by the investments ExxonMobil alone is making as part of our Growing the Gulf initiative, the chemical industry is rapidly expanding along the Gulf Coast due to abundant supplies of domestically produced natural gas. Encouraging and developing a well-educated and skilled workforce is vital to the industry’s success in meeting a growing global demand for chemical products and continuing economic growth and prosperity in Gulf communities.”

With a projected need for more than 50,000 new workers by Gulf Coast-area chemical producers over the next decade, nine Houston-area community colleges are working to find and train the next generation of skilled workers. Initiative partners Alvin Community College, Brazosport College, College of the Mainland, Galveston College, Houston Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto Junior College and Wharton County Junior College are training students seeking certification or completion of degree programs for instrumentation, electrical, machinist/millwright, welding, pipefitting, and other skills and competencies needed by the chemical industry.

The 2017 scholarship recipients include:

  • Alvin Community College: Charles Manuel, Vanessa Medrano, Jose Padilla, Roberto Pena, Andrew Pier
  • Brazosport College: Rigoberto Cardenas, Patrick Haynes, Zachary Nieto, Yolanda, Richo, Jorge Juarez
  • College of the Mainland: Brittany Brown, Myles Drisdale, Joshua Galabis, Michael Keller, Kincaide Stevens, Burak Temal
  • Galveston College: Victor Gomez, Isaac Jara, Patrick Lantz, Kaylan Mosley
  • Houston Community College: Shayan Naghibipoor, Opeyemi Frances Anthony, Carissa Sims, Marquette Broussard, Samson Balogun
  • Lee College: Christopher Patterson, Edmeade Prentice, Crisol Napoles
  • Lone Star College: Jeremy Powers, Christopher Ross, Carlos Gomez, James Alford, Jason Eldridge, Delane Corley
  • San Jacinto College: Isaac Butcher, Jessica Cranford, Lucida Price
  • Wharton County Junior College: Zachary Zepeta

About the Community College Petrochemical Initiative

The Community College Petrochemical Initiative is a collaboration of nine Texas Gulf Coast Area Community Colleges to recruit and train the next generation of petrochemical and construction trades workers for the Houston-Galveston region. A united vision and direction of the partnership is made through the CCPI Steering Committee, consisting of workforce development leaders from each participating college.

About ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international energy company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. For more information, visit www.exxonmobil.com or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/exxonmobil.

Jobs, Jobs and More Jobs – The Petrochemical Industry is Booming along the Texas Gulf Coast

It’s difficult to go even a week without hearing about the country’s job situation, but Texas is telling a different story altogether. As the country looks to energy self-sufficiency, the pressure is on in Texas to meet the oncoming demand. But, that is a task with which the state is very familiar. The petrochemical industry in Texas has a long history that begins before the 1950s. During the 1990s, petrochemical facilities in Texas dominated the market – leading the nation in production.

Today, Texas is still the largest chemical producing state, and with production estimates valued at $37 billion this year, it will maintain that position. What makes Texas perfect for petrochemical production? Primarily, access to shale gas deposits and deep water coastal ports, available infrastructure, and the established university system.

Energy companies are poised to fully support the expansion of the petrochemical industry in Texas, and it will transform the region with a two-phase job growth plan. Companies like ExxonMobil have an $8.5 billion capital investment and need more facilities that will call for 43,000 new jobs! The second phase encompasses the management and operations to keep these facilities running at optimal levels. It is estimated that this phase will create 81,000 jobs and will lift Texas’s tax revenue by $779 million.

Petrochemical Industry Growth Phases

So what’s the catch? This: There aren’t enough qualified people to fill the incoming job demands! Companies are scrambling in search of individuals with the right skillsets. That’s why the Texas Gulf Coast Consortium of Community Colleges (TGCCCC) and ExxonMobil are spearheading the Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) to attract people to take advantage of these new opportunities.

There is a common misconception that you need a four-year degree to work in the energy industry or even a master’s level degree for a management position. Students in a CCPI program can receive their two-year associate degree and start immediately in their career upon graduation. And the best part is: In the investment and operation phase, there will be $7.7 billion in employee wages. For petrochemical manufacturing jobs alone, the average wage is $99,700 which is 46 percent more than the average manufacturing wage in other industries.

Jobs in the petrochemical field are often perceived to be hard, manual labor positions. However, many are in office environments with regular business hours. Below are the careers paths students can take in the CCPI program:

  • Analyzer Technology
  • CADD
  • Computer Maintenance
  • Electrical Technology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Fieldbus Technology
  • Instrumentation
  • Machine Technology
  • Millwrighting
  • Pipefitting
  • Process Technology
  • Production Technology
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Welding

Teachers are also needed to help educate the next wave of petrochemical professionals. Each of our nine partner schools has openings for full or part-time instructors – with or without previous teaching experience. If you are an experienced professional in any of the course areas listed above, please reach out to our schools for job postings and salary information.

The Community College Petrochemical Initiative is an attractive opportunity for people living in the Gulf Coast region, people who want to start a new career with better future prospects and higher wages, and for veterans returning from active duty. Representatives of TGCCCC and its partner schools will host various recruitment sessions about CCPI throughout the year. To contact a school directly about their specific program offerings, visit our member college directory.

2014 is a Big Year for Texas Gulf Coast Community Colleges

Since you’ve found this blog post, you already know that the Texas Gulf Coast Consortium of Community Colleges (TGCCCC) is taking some big steps this year. We have this brand new website to help us better communicate our efforts – as well as some huge initiatives we are implementing to better serve the Houston/Gulf Coast region.

You will notice in the main navigation of our website the Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) that we have implemented with the support of Exxon. Exxon and other petrochemical and oil & gas companies are building and expanding facilities in our region at an exponential rate. It is estimated that $35 billion will be spent on construction in the next decade, resulting in up to 22,000 construction jobs, alone. That doesn’t even account for the the tens of thousands of new technician and other full-time jobs that will be created inside the plants. Most of those jobs will require the training and education that an associate degree from our member colleges provides.

The supply of jobs at these petrochemical facilities is currently on pace to be greater than the number of workers in the region qualified to fill them. So, that’s why Exxon is helping TGCCCC recruit and educate students to help meet that demand. Along with the increase in students, our member colleges will need teachers to instruct and train them. We will be recruiting people with direct experience in these technical fields, who may be ready to retire from the petrochemical industry, to come to our campuses and help teach the next generation of workers. You will see us at events like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this month meeting and encouraging both potential new students and new teachers to apply at our colleges.

We also have similar initiatives in other fields, like healthcare, that we will launch later this year. Our region is booming with new, well-paying jobs in a variety of industries. It is our commission as members of the TGCCCC to make sure we are providing the education to local students that will help them fill those roles. So, please explore our new site and look at the exceptional pay structure for the petrochemical jobs and our other initiatives. Come join us as a student or instructor, or encourage someone you know to spend a couple of years getting an education that can change their future positively!

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