Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. is donating $1.7 million to fund a new career and technology education (CTE) center for the Sweeny Independent School District in Sweeny, Texas.
Officials with Chevron Phillips, a major producer of polyethylene and other plastics and chemicals based in The Woodlands, Texas, said in a news release that the donation reflects a shared commitment to education and workforce development and will provide high school students the industry skills needed to compete in the workplace.
The center is expected to open in the fall of 2020. It will consolidate career and technology classes already taught in the district in one building, a site currently under renovation. Course offerings include classes focused on science, technology, engineering and math, as well as professional communications, agriculture, architecture and construction, business and health and science. The building will be named the Chevron Phillips Chemical CTE Center.
"Ninety-five percent of our high school students already take career and technology courses, a sign of how great the demand is for creating pathways that help the next generation compete in the workplace," Superintendent Tory Hill said in the release.
Chevron Phillips' donation will be made over nine years to offset costs associated with operating the new center. The firm operates major production sites in Sweeny and Old Ocean. The district also will use $7.5 million of a recently approved bond referendum to renovate related building grounds.
The donation also will help the district — which serves more than 2,000 students — cover fees associated with college entrance exams for students pursuing post-secondary education. The new center will offer technical certifications, including in welding, National Center for Construction Education and Research, Microsoft, QuickBooks and AutoCad.
"Our goal is to create a viable talent pool in our area, while providing broad educational opportunities to local students," said Wayne McDowell, plant manager of Chevron Phillips' Sweeny/Old Ocean facilities. "We believe [the new center] will help make this a reality, and we look forward to welcoming the first round of students next fall."