'It's not a 1-man show': Petrochemical plant in Alvin looks to fill wide array of positions

Nick Natario Image
Monday, March 13, 2023
Petrochemical plant in Alvin looks to close gender gap
"There's no reason to be scared," Aja Castano, who works at the company, said. "We all do it every day. There's nothing intimidating working out in the plants."

ALVIN, Texas (KTRK) -- One of Alvin's largest employers is looking to fill jobs that aren't what you normally think of in petrochemical plants, and there's also a push to close the gender gap.

Drive along Highway 6 in Alvin, and you'll see why some like being away from Houston's busy roads.

"The commute is very easy," Aja Castano, who works in Alvin, said.

There, people can enjoy not only less traffic but good paying jobs.

"This particular plant has been my favorite place I've ever worked at," Jamie Penner, a financial analyst for INEOS Chocolate Bayou Works, said. "They really care about their people."

INEOS is a petrochemical plant that's looking for more than the traditional oil and gas jobs.

"A lot of times people don't associate the plant life with office jobs like finance," Penner explained.

The facility also employs nurses, human resources, and even a gym manager. It's looking for more. The company needs people in information technology, project management, and chemical engineers. A job Castano knows well.

"I love it," she said. "It's great working here. You work with a team of folks. It's not a one-man show."

It may feel like a one-man show working in petrochemical. The U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics says women make up less than 30% of chemical engineers, but there's a push to change this.

This month, the sixth annual Women in Industry Conference takes place in Galveston.

Oil and gas companies will meet primarily with female students and introduce them to careers.

Castano went last year.

"It was more empowering to me" Castano recalled. "I don't know if I had more fun than they did."

It's an excitement these women hope will catch on because not only could the plant be a great place to work, the U.S. Labor Bureau of Statistics said the average petrochemical engineer makes $130,000 per year.

"There's no reason to be scared," Castano said. "We all do it every day. There's nothing intimidating working out in the plants."

To learn more about jobs at INEOS, visit the company's website and search for Alvin.

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