The announcement was made in partnership with the Community College Petrochemical Initiative (CCPI) at the 2014 Houston Livestock Show in Texas. CCPI was on site to promote the training programs available at Houston-area community colleges for high-paying jobs in the local chemical manufacturing industry.
The event featured an interactive exhibit to promote CCPI’s technical training programs and qualify students for the chemical industry’s current and future workforce needs. Presidents and chancellors of the participating community colleges interacted with college and high school attendees to teach them more about the jobs training program.
"The nine CCPI-affiliated community colleges have joined together to spread the word about the great careers we can help launch,” said Dr. Dennis Brown, president of Lee College and chairman of the CCPI consortium. “The level of interest from residents in the greater Houston area has been tremendous.”
CCPI shares course materials and best practices among Houston’s nine leading community colleges, building on the successful Lee College – ExxonMobil Process Technology Program and its emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). CCPI expects to attract as many as 50,000 students and educators across Texas over the next five years and fast track them through certification and degree programs in a variety of technical fields, including instrumentation, computer and electrical technology, machining, millwrighting, welding, pipefitting, and other skills and competencies needed by the chemical manufacturing and refining industries.
“ExxonMobil’s financial support of CCPI is instrumental in our recruitment of students for the technical training programs that are required for entry into these highly skilled trade and craft careers,” Dr. Brown said. In June 2013, ExxonMobil made its first $500,000 contribution to begin the expansion of the community college training programs.
“We expect thousands of jobs to be coming to the Houston area because of new industry investment to capitalize on the abundant, affordable supply of U.S. natural gas to produce chemicals,” said Lynne Lachenmyer, senior vice president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “This program is about preparing area residents to fill those jobs and launch satisfying careers in a critical industry.”
Watch a short video clip of Lynne Lachenmyer discussing the successful collaboration of the Community College Petrochemical Initiative
At an average annual salary of $99,700, the Texas chemical industry’s pay scale is 46 percent higher than the average for manufacturing. Texas is the largest chemical producing state in the country, supporting more than 73,000 jobs currently, with another 81,000 jobs expected through announced investments in new and existing chemical industry capacity.
The CCPI consists of community colleges and school districts in the greater Houston and Texas Gulf Coast area, each providing skills training for the region’s businesses and industries. Its membership includes Alvin Community College, Brazosport College, College of the Mainland, Galveston College, Houston Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College and Wharton County Junior College.