LyondellBasell has given a third recent donation of $5,000 to upgrade equipment that students in the College of the Mainland Process Technology Program use to gain real-world experience in plant operations. In addition to donations over 18 months, company engineers gave their time to assist faculty in examining program equipment and determining what revisions are needed.
Proposed improvements include upgrades to the COM boiler, which was originally built in 1985.
“Imagine driving a car from 1985. Over time, all technology changes,” said Jerry Duncan, COM Process Technology Program coordinator.
The boiler and glycol separation unit allow students to gain experience operating and troubleshooting equipment utilized in industry.
LyondellBasell, which has nearby branches in Channelview, La Porte, Pasadena and Houston, often hires students who complete COM’s two-year associate degree in process technology.
“We work very closely with LyondellBasell,” said Duncan. “They hire many of our students as interns, and they hire 90 percent of their interns full-time. It’s a life-changing experience for them.”
COM students were among the first hired when LyondellBasell began its internship program.
“Two years ago we started with three interns, and now we budget for 40 students. We’re preparing to expand to other facilities as well,” said LyondellBasell representative David Gosnay, who works at the Channelview plant. “COM does a very good job preparing students. It’s truly a partnership. We receive as much as we give, if not more.”
LyondellBasell is one of the world’s largest plastics, chemical and refining companies. It participates in the entire petrochemical value chain, from refining to specialized petrochemical product end uses.