EHCMA members are regularly giving back to the communities in which we live and work. While making products that are vital to everyday life for people around the world, we are also #makinggood for the future generations of the industry and within the local communities.
On November 1, 2018, the Houston, Texas site participated in the Annual North Channel Salutes and Business Expo. Arkema was one of 11 companies/organizations to sponsor this community event. Festivities kicked off with a welcome and invocation followed by presentation of colors, National Anthem, Pledge, recognition and introduction of VIP’s, service clubs, law enforcement, fire department and EMT’s. Presentation of service flags, active duty military and veteran recognition including a World War II veteran. The activities concluded with 39 vendor booths at the Business Expo. First responders and veterans were treated to lunch catered by Armenta’s Mexican Restaurant.
The Dow facilities included in Houston Area Operations (HAO) celebrated on several occasions recently. Six apprentices graduated from the US Apprenticeship Program, through the partnership between Dow and San Jacinto College, and moved into full-time roles at HAO sites, including Lone Star, La Porte, and Bayport. Six additional apprentices were hired in May. Three of the apprentices are Instrument Technicians and three are Process Technicians.
Hundreds of ExxonMobil employees volunteered across 25 local service sites for the 2018 United Way Days of Caring. Volunteers assisted local agencies in a variety of ways, including cementing sidewalks, painting and hedge trimming at the Bay Area Rehabilitation Center, installing signs along the Born Learning Trail at City Park in Mont Belvieu, and weeding and replanting a Butterfly Garden at the Baytown Nature Center. Other projects included improvements made at VFW Post 912, where volunteers from the ExxonMobil Veterans Advocacy and Support Team (VAST) scrubbed the exterior of the building to prepare it for painting. In addition to the repairs and improvements made at the service sites, ExxonMobil will contribute over $10,000 to the United Way and area agencies through its Volunteer Involvement Grant Program.
Volunteers from Kuraray America, Inc. (KAI) worked with Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts, and their families at the 3rd Annual STEM Event on September 21 hosted by the Houston Museum of Natural Science! For those that don’t know, KAI manufactures PVOH at the Bayport Plant in La Porte, TX.
Shell, along with Veteran Service Organization (VSO) NextOP, hosted its 3rd Military Petrochemical Industry Day (MPCID) in Houston on November 15, 2018. The event was held at the Combined Arms headquarters. The purpose of the MPCID is to attract, educate and build a veteran talent pipeline. The event also helps increase awareness about careers at Shell and within the petrochemical industry. The event’s activities included an informational session on Shell’s two-year scholarships, breakout sessions for experienced professionals and operations & maintenance craft skilled professionals, a military panel and discussion about soft skills including resume review/interview techniques, transferable skills and networking. The session provided attendees with a successful view of a military transition into the workplace with a civilian career at Shell. Jeremy Castaneda, Shell Deer Park, (Navy) provided a testimonial about the benefits of attending last year’s event and how he incorporated the skills and strategies to compete for a career at Shell. Jeremy, was later hired as a process operator at Shell Deer Park refinery.
On September 21, more than 300 golfers and nearly 70 sponsors came together to play golf while supporting organizations across our community. Despite a wet and humid day, this year’s tournament was a great success raising a generous $140,000, which is the most raised to date through this annual charity event. In addition, through the continued success of the tournament, TPC Group has been able to provide more than $1 million in donations to 30 non-profit organizations across southeast Texas in 13 years. This year’s 15 non-profit organizations, including Barrio Dogs, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Mental Health America of Greater Houston, Sarah’s House and YWCA Houston, were grateful to receive the supportive funds made possible by our generous sponsors. The organizations selected by TPC employee volunteers continue to work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of those they serve.
Giving back to the community throughout the year is very important to Arkema Inc. On November 9, 2018, the Houston, Texas site participated in a coat drive for Cloverleaf Elementary students. Employees and the plant purchased coats, jackets and warm-ups to keep students warm this winter season. The Houston plant has been an industrial partner of Cloverleaf Elementary for 26 years. Past activities Arkema has held at the campus include book fairs, fall festivals, mentoring, track events and science teacher judging. Thank you to all who have participated as the site continues to partner with the local school district.
The Deer Park Operations facility completed a large site-wide turnaround safely; without any OSHA recordable injuries. This turnaround brought in an additional 1800 employees during peak working times. La Porte Operations received a Best in Texas award from the Texas Chemical Council for the second consecutive year for outstanding safety performance and contractor safety programs. Karen Vick, Environmental, Health & Safety Delivery Leader, earned the Outstanding Service award from the Texas Chemical Council for her leadership in safety.
Congratulations to the Kuraray America, Inc. (KAI) riders who completed the 170-mile Bike Around the Bay race on October 20 and 21. Also, a huge thank you to our KAI volunteers who came out bright and early to make breakpoint two a success and give all of the riders a little reprieve around mile 30!
In October, TPC Group kicked off its annual United Way campaign and it was another record-breaking year. With a goal to increase donations by more than 20 percent this year, the company challenged employees to increase their engagement in the fun initiatives organized by the United Way Committee. Through various initiatives, such as a tailgate kick off, chili/gumbo cook-offs and a mid-campaign social hour, TPC Employees, along with a donation from the company, raised a collective $166,000 in funds benefiting the United Way.
Process Safety Regional Networks are being formed across the U.S. to provide informal collaboration opportunities for process safety practitioners at the site level. Networks provide ongoing opportunities to share process safety knowledge, effective practices and solutions, and allow for regional peer-to-peer discussions to enhance site-level process safety programs and performance. Colette Spicer, Lead Process Technical Engineer for the Houston site, hosted the full-day program which included various technical presentations highlighting the lessons learned from facility incidents or near-misses, discussions on accident avoidance at operating plants, and overviews of recurring trends in the industry. The program is aimed at those responsible for gathering incident/near-miss information and disseminating lessons learned within their companies. Attendees included senior managers in process safety, managers responsible for plant operations and maintenance, as well as process safety and subject matter experts.
Dow has pledged $250,000 toward the San Jacinto College Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology. Dow’s investment will ensure training and education curriculum in the center will align with the needs of petrochemical manufacturing employers. The center will open in fall 2019 and become the largest petrochemical training facility along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College is a primary source for new hire operators at Dow’s Deer Park, Texas, site. As an industry partner and member of the college’s Petrochemical Advisory Council, Dow Deer Park has hired 25 San Jacinto College graduates as operators within the past four years, a number that represents 23 percent of the site’s new hire operators.
Hundreds of students joined Kuraray America, Inc. (KAI) on November 8 at the STEM Expo hosted by Communities in Schools at San Jacinto College Central. With the focus on education and increasing interest in STEM subjects as one of KAI’s main pillars for giving and volunteering, the CIS mission to “empower students to stay in school so that they can achieve in life” is something that we can stand behind.
Each year, TPC Group holds school supply drives to provide supplies to three local schools, honoring the commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates. This year, employees delivered supplies to the happy students at Port Neches Elementary and Pearl Rucker Elementary.