Local company teams up with ISD

March 27, 2008 6:59:33 PM PDT
An aging workforce and competition for skilled labor along the Gulf Coast is driving an innovative new program in the Galena Park Independent School District aimed at providing high school graduates with the skills and certifications necessary to get a job supporting Houston industry. LyondellBasell Industries' Houston Refining, LP has partnered with the Galena Park ISD and has made more than $16,000 in donations to date, including a new welding machine presented to the district today. The partnership is part of the Houston Construction Career Initiative

"Adopt-a-School" program established through a collaboration by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Houston (ABC), the Houston Business Roundtable (HBR) and the Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF).

"Our ability to staff large capital projects and turnarounds depend on a strong workforce," said Jim Roecker, LyondellBasell divisional vice president of the Houston Refinery. "If we can't fully staff our projects, then turnarounds and projects are extended, that means higher costs, loss of revenue and an impact on customers, and ultimately, consumers.

The Galena Park school district is working in partnership with LyondellBasell's Houston Refinery and its contractors to develop a "helper" program where students will be given the opportunity to join maintenance programs first in the school district and then at LyondellBasell's refinery once they have received the necessary training and certifications.

"This is an incredible program and opportunity for our students that wouldn't be possible without the commitment and support of industry," said Crockett DuBose, chief of staff for the Galena Park Independent School District. "LyondellBasell's team has been very active with the school district in developing and supporting our staff and students to ensure we're getting them the skills the refinery and other businesses can use."

Galena Park ISD's metal technology program for students based out of Galena Park High School provides graduating seniors with their OSHA 500, OSHA 501, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core, introduction to Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, and introduction to Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding certifications. The certifications are core competencies required to enter the construction and maintenance workforce.

"The most important part of this process is getting our kids a chance to earn a very good job in the real world," said DuBose. "Bottom line, that's what will drive this program; if our kids earn jobs, they will tell other students and the program will continue to grow."


Load Comments