Process technology training pays off with careers at Occidental Petroleum

Six San Jacinto College process technology graduates were recently hired by Occidental Petroleum (OXY), proving they have the training it takes to fill the skills gap in today’s petrochemical industry.

A signing ceremony was held to celebrate the graduates’ achievements of earning their associate degrees and being offered full-time positions with OXY. Occidental Petroleum plays a key role on the San Jacinto College Petrochemical Advisory Council, which ensures students receive training in the skillsets requested by industry employers.

“Here at San Jac, you have a great group of students who are receiving top-notch technical training, and who are eager to find a career in our industry,” said Jason Sevin, director of strategic planning with Occidental Petroleum. “This hiring initiative is a real opportunity to expand where we find valuable people for our workforce in the Permian Basin.”

The process of recruiting these San Jacinto College students started earlier this year in September, when representatives from OXY contacted Jeff Pearce, career coordinator for the future Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology set to open in the summer of 2019.

“I was thrilled when OXY contacted me to set up interviews with our students,” said Pearce. “Being able to provide our students direct contact with the companies they are looking to work for is priceless.”

During the interview process, OXY met with a group of 100 students to introduce them to the idea of the hiring initiative. This meeting led to interviews with 22 of San Jacinto College’s process technology students before narrowing it down the six students who were offered positions in November of this year.

The students, Adrian Boutte, Tracy Guerra, Jesse Killen, Ruben Perez, Miguel Ramos, and Joseph Ramirez all see this as an opportunity of a lifetime.

“I’m so lucky to be part of this hiring initiative,” said Ramirez. “When OXY first came to speak with us we were all excited. Shortly after the first meeting, I was in an interview and I was offered the position. It has been such a smooth transition.”

All six students were hired for positions in the Permian Basin region of West Texas. This region is known as the United States’ top oil producing region, generating 1 million barrels of oil each day.