PASADENA, Texas — 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 the ExxonMobil Foundation.
Now in its third year, the Community College Petrochemical Initiative has spread the word across the region that average salaries in this expanding industry average $99,700. It’s not surprising that enrollments in training programs, such as those at San Jacinto College, are growing significantly.
On Thursday, Aug. 13, representatives from all nine partnering community colleges in the Texas Gulf Coast region, along with ExxonMobil, met in the Nolan Ryan Center on the Alvin Community College campus to present more than $60,000 in scholarships to 43 selected students.
San Jacinto College process technology students Gladys Jackson, Laura Plazibat, and Austen Riche; along with instrumentation student Jonathan Gallo, were all at the recent event where they each received $1,000 or $2,000 scholarships.
Students heard a rousing message from the manager of the ExxonMobil Baytown Olefins Plant, Woody Paul, who reminded them that, while their backgrounds and stories may differ, each one is seeking to improve their lives through careers in the petrochemical industry. He applauded their discipline, tenacity, and determination as they juggled career training with family and current jobs.
In all, ExxonMobil has contributed more than $1.5 million towards training skilled new workers. This is the second consecutive year that CCPI and ExxonMobil have brought together new recipients to present scholarships and encourage them in their educational pursuits.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.