Eaton, a leading a power management company, will donate approximately $1.6 million to the Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology at San Jacinto College.
The donation is in addition to contributions Eaton has made for the construction of the center by supporting the design and deployment of the training rooms and the glycol application area.
"To build the premier petrochemical training center along the Gulf Coast requires a great amount of support from industry, and Eaton has stepped up to support this project and ensure we have the right facility to fill the workforce gaps and keep our region's competitive edge," said Jim Griffin, senior vice president of petrochemical and energy at San Jacinto College. "When we began with the design phase of the center, it was Eaton that volunteered to design our electrical training labs. We simply would not be able to build this facility without their support."
Industry partners like Eaton are instrumental in the planning and construction of the 145,000-square-foot Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology, which will be the largest petrochemical training facility along the Texas Gulf Coast when it opens in fall 2019.
Built for industry, by industry, the center will house programs and training labs in process technology, instrumentation and analyzer technology, electrical, nondestructive testing, and craft trades. It will feature an 8,000-square-foot exterior glycol process unit to develop troubleshooting skills for entry-level and advanced credit students and incumbent workers. Additional features will include the newest software programming, equipment, technology, and conference, training and assembly spaces.
During the planning stages for the center, Eaton Industrial Application Engineer Amber Wright donated her time to design the facility's electrical labs.
"We were really focused on integrating training and hands-on content within the classrooms that would provide an advantage in the learning process," said Wright. "Having the opportunity to operate in a safe and controlled environment on some of the most complex technologies would give each student a massive advantage when entering the workforce. We worked tirelessly with industry to ensure we were addressing their needs, as well as making sure we made every aspect of the labs scalable and adaptable to technology changes."
For more than 10 years, Eaton has designed, built, and launched nine global training centers, primarily focused on the development and education of engineers and field operators. Each center focuses on enabling foundational to advanced technical capabilities, enhanced awareness in safety to protect people and assets, and field processes that stimulate efficiency and cost savings practices.
Similar to San Jacinto College's upcoming Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology, Eaton has developed an approach to training by capitalizing on theory and hands-on and simulated applications, giving all visitors content that will prepare them for plethora of challenges faced in the field.
"From our earliest collaboration, San Jacinto College's vision and strategy perfectly aligned to Eaton's," said Allan Clark, director of the Eaton Experience Center. "Both organizations identified a massive chasm within education for the oil and gas market, worked closely with industry to address the growing challenges within the field, and are committed to developing comprehensive programs that align to the challenges of today and the skills required tomorrow."
Since 2009, the oil and gas market has been faced with two critical decisions, added Clark. These decisions focus not only on the bottom line cost controls but also on the methodology and process to train the next generation of skilled workforce. The historical process consists of numerous years of on-the-job training, but these existing practices are being challenged.
"The crisis isn't just the aged and experience workforce leaving the industry but the changing landscape due to rapid technology adoption by the industrial facilities," said Clark. "These factors have stimulated a void within the middle-skilled workforce and created a demand for the next generation of industrial employees, requiring diversified, agile, and advanced technical competency. These individuals will be required to operate, diagnose, repair, and maintain equipment installed over 40 years ago, as well as be able to integrate cutting-edge technology that is the next evolution in the industrial operation."