Up to 50 high school juniors and seniors will gather this summer at Los Medanos College (LMC) to learn about career opportunities available in the refinery and chemical process industries. At a time when many people are losing their jobs, these students will hear about a career for which employers in Contra Costa County are actually seeking more skilled workers.
According to LMC Director of Process Technology (PTEC) David Kail, “Most parents would like to see their sons and daughters graduate from a four-year college. But a four-year college degree is not right for everyone. Our Process Technology (PTEC) summer academy will give high school students a chance to learn about an alternative two-year associate degree in the process technology program. Process technicians may earn as much as many four-year college graduates, and many will appreciate that the work is complex, hands-on and often both indoors and outdoors.”
LMC is hosting the summer academy because a large number of industries that hire process technology graduates are located nearby. Companies such as Shell, ConocoPhillips, Praxair, Tesoro and The Dow Chemical Company support the PTEC program. Participants will gain technical skills, learn about communication styles and team building, develop their leadership skills, hear from a panel of industry employees and visit a job site.
Parent Nanette Scott-Murphy eagerly anticipates the academy: “After reading the syllabus of the PTEC high school academy, I am excited that you will be exposing the kids to so many skills they will need when they hit the job market. I am a technician where I work, and my son’s father works for a pump manufacturer. We had been bemoaning the fact that high school kids are either being groomed for white-collar positions or else they work fast food. We are very happy you are providing a glimpse at technical options at a college level while the kids are still in high school. Thank you for the opportunity.”
Jim Martin is the grant director for the high school to community college pipeline grant that is supporting the academy. “Process Technology incorporates elements from math, science, and even communication,” he said. “By introducing the career to students still in high school, we hope to guide them into the math and science courses that will prepare them for an associate degree in process technology. LMC also offers college courses that are open to high school students; in many cases, students can earn both high school and college credits.”
The PTEC summer academy is free for the students chosen to participate. The academy will be held on the LMC campus in Pittsburg from June 22 to 26. For more information, call Jim Martin at 925-439-2182, ext. 3208 or e-mail email@example.com. The academy application can be found online at www.losmedanos.edu/ptec.