The LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemicals, Energy, and Technology (CPET) provides San Jacinto College students with innovative ways to connect with industry partners. This industry access gives CPET graduates a head start in job placement.
Using his track and field background, CPET Education and Workforce Coordinator Jeff Pearce has developed some of these unique events, including Scouting Week.
“As a volleyball coach, I made sure our whole team was prepared when we knew a scout was coming to practice,” Pearce said. “It’s no different for CPET. Inviting industry into our labs and showcasing the knowledge base and engagement of our students sets the stage for conversation.”
The scout week took place at the CPET from April 4th to 7th. Company representatives sat and observed the students in the CPET learning environment. Some observed classroom activities, while others got hands-on by joining a lab group.
“We leave that up to interpretation, but the goal is to have representatives in the classrooms and have them match student names to faces,” Pearce said.
On April 6, the CPET also organized a job fair with more than 20 industrial and petrochemical companies. The institution’s last career fair in September 2021 welcomed more than 400 participants and 35 industry representatives.
“We look forward to showcasing our students at these events, and their participation shows dedication to their craft,” Pearce said. “We hope to connect students enough to the industry that by the time they meet the reps at a job fair, they may have already established a relationship.”
Additionally, Career Services at CPET and San Jacinto College have joined forces to present InVITE (Industrial Virtual Interview Training Experience) sessions. InVITE sessions are conducted like typical interviews, with a panel of representatives from CPET, industry and career services. Students answer general and scenario-based questions for 30 minutes, then receive feedback.
“We started out doing interviews three days a week, and the slots started filling up quickly,” Pearce said. “North Campus, Central Campus, and South Campus Career Coordinators are all on hand to help facilitate each interview and provide real-time feedback to students.”
Representatives from the instrumentation, process technology and welding industries volunteered their time to help students hone their skills.
“I’m proud that San Jacinto College has started this initiative,” said Carla Thompson, Workforce Development Manager at Turner Industries. “We are building our future and the skills and expectations that are set for the industry.”
David Gosnay, operations manager for training and logistics at LyondellBasell, spends 60% of his work week at the facility as an industry-education liaison.
“LyondellBasell sees the value in workforce development,” Gosnay said. “Partnering with San Jacinto College allows us to train students to a high industry standard. Students come to me for career advice, and I also observe course content and curriculum to ensure that what’s being taught matches industry practice. We want that personal connection, and presence is important.”
Event planning never stops for Pearce, who keeps an ever-growing list of ideas on a whiteboard in her office.
“My goal is to connect students with industry as much as possible,” he said. “If we can get them to network and make connections, we’re setting them up for success.”
For more information, visit www.sanjac.edu/cpet or call (281) 998-1806.