BP Texas City Chemicals Plant Manager Pete Nowobilski presents a contribution to College of the Mainland (COM) representatives COM Foundation Director Mary Ann Amelang, left, and COM Collegiate High School Principal Sandi Belcher.

Continuing its decades-long support of College of the Mainland and education, BP Texas City Chemicals donated $15,000 to College of the Mainland Foundation to help make an education financially possible for outstanding COM students.

One donation will fund five scholarships of $1,000 each for students in the COM Process Technology Program. A second $5,000 contribution will provide supplies and equipment for the COM Process Technology Program, while a third $5,000 donation will be used for scholarships for COM Collegiate High School students majoring in STEM or technical fields. Collegiate High School students can earn an associate degree and a high school diploma simultaneously.

BP Texas City Chemicals Plant Manager Pete Nowobilski said that the partnership over many years has benefitted BP and other area industries, providing well-trained petrochemicals employees.

"Supporting COM's PTEC program helps ensure that the petrochemicals industry has a pool of well-trained potential employees. It also gives BP the opportunity to support critical technology training so that graduates can qualify for good-paying jobs," Nowobilski said.

BP is America’s largest energy investor, investing more than $55 billion in the last five years. The company is the nation’s second-largest producer of oil and gas and a leading supplier of the chemicals used to make essential everyday products, from plastic bottles to clothing and fiberglass auto bodies. Throughout all 50 states, BP business activities help support more than 260,000 total jobs and contribute tens of millions of dollars to academic research, educational initiatives and recruitment activities.

“We appreciate BP’s support of the Process Technology Program since the program’s inception,” said COM Foundation director Mary Ann Amelang. “Industry partnerships are what have helped make the COM Process Technology Program and Collegiate High School Program so successful.”

The COM Process Technology Program coordinates with industry representatives to train students for in-demand jobs. Starting salaries for COM graduates with technical degrees average $73,509 annually – the highest average starting salary of any university or college graduate in the state, according to a study by College Measures.

Challenging themselves academically, COM Collegiate High School students can take any class on the COM campus while remaining eligible for extracurricular activities at their home high schools. COM Collegiate High School is open to students in Clear Creek ISD, Dickinson ISD, Hitchcock ISD, Friendswood ISD, La Marque ISD, Santa Fe ISD, Texas City ISD and Premiere Learning Academy, as well as private and home school students.

The mission of the COM Foundation is to support and encourage educational excellence at COM through funding scholarships for deserving students. To learn more, visit www.com.edu/giving.