San Jacinto College opens LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology

 In Education, Petrochemical Industry News

San Jacinto College opens LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology
The largest training facility in the Gulf Coast Region was designed by industry, for industry

PASADENA, Texas – San Jacinto College marked the grand opening of the new LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology (CPET), Wednesday, September 18, with more than 350 elected officials, industry partners, community members, faculty, and staff.

The ceremony revealed LyondellBasell as the facility’s naming rights partner, honoring the company’s generous $5 million donation and their support in helping to develop the facility’s curriculum, aligning with LyondellBasell’s strong commitment to workforce development.

The new, cutting-edge training facility is located at 7901 W. Fairmont Parkway, on the College’s Central Campus, placing it square in the heart of the largest petrochemical manufacturing complex in the United States, where 90 companies operate 132 plants within a 13-mile radius of the College’s new facility.

As a top 10 community college in the nation and the country’s second-largest producer of process operator graduates, San Jacinto College plays a vital role in helping the region maintain its status as the “Energy Capital of the World.” The new technologically advanced Center will enhance the College’s ability to provide unrivaled, hands-on training in real-world labs, designed with current industry needs in mind.

“This building has been many years in the making,” says San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “It is a true collaborative effort between industry and higher education. Many of our industry partners served on our Advisory Council, Steering Committees, and Sub Teams to provide insight and expertise on everything from building design, curriculum programming, and creating a safety culture to equipment and software recommendations. This facility has truly been designed by industry, for industry.”

The College’s new $60 million facility spans a 151,000-square-foot complex with a separate 8,000-square-foot, two-story process training unit, and boasts 35 custom interior labs, including a multifunctional glass pilot lab, 20 interactive classrooms, 4 custom workstations, advanced control rooms, and conference, training, and assembly spaces to accommodate academic, community, and industrial functions.

Students will have access to hands-on training experiences as they work toward associate degrees and industry certifications in Electrical Technology, Environmental Health and Safety Technology, Instrumentation Technology, Nondestructive Testing, Process Technology.

As part of the Center’s offerings, the College will be expanding its contract training. Through these efforts, the College will work with companies to create customized and confidential employee training for incumbent workers, maximizing the region’s ability to capitalize on the College’s new facility, faculty, and resources.

“The need for a facility like this has never been greater,” says Jim Griffin, San Jacinto College’s Associate Vice Chancellor/Senior Vice President of the LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology. “We’re seeing a growing industry that’s investing more than $60 billion in new capital locally, at the same time our baby boomers are exiting the workforce, so the workforce needs are growing along with the job opportunities. This new facility expands the College’s capabilities to bridge that gap by developing and training the industry’s current and future workforce in a technologically advanced environment, designed with industry input.”

LyondellBasell Senior Vice President of Americas Manufacturing Mike VanDerSnick agreed, saying “We are a future-focused company dedicated to finding the right people for the right positions and that includes addressing one of our industry’s pressing needs, training the next generation of workers. The LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology is an example of industry, educators, and the community working collaboratively to host events and annual conferences in support of workforce development.”

Many of the region’s industry leaders also donated funding and equipment to the College’s new training center and its related programs, including Eaton, Emerson, Albemarle Foundation, BIC Magazine/BIC Recruiting, Dow, Evosite LLC, Hunter Buildings, INEOS Olefins and Polymers, USA, International Cooling Tower, Kuraray, Lubrizol, nVent Thermal Management, Olympus Corporations of the Americas, Shell Oil Company, Siemens Analytical Products & Solutions, Swagelok, and Donald Wiedemeyer – Valve World.

“Partnering with our community has always been a core value at San Jacinto College,” says Board of Trustees Vice Chair John Moon Jr. “When industry partners tell us what they need and we implement curriculum that meets both our high educational standards and their job requirement standards, the result is a positive collaboration producing skilled graduates who are seen by companies as first and foremost qualified to do the job on day one.”

For more information about the Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology, visit

About LyondellBasell Center For Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology (CPET)

Printable Brochure (pdf)

San Jacinto College’s LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology (CPET) will lead the way in training the advanced workforce to meet the growing demands of the industry.

While it’s well known that the petrochemical industry needs more workers, what it really needs is a more skilled workforce. San Jacinto College proudly continues to be the industry’s training hub.

San Jacinto College has served as the training leader for the petrochemical, energy and technology workforce in the greater Houston area for more than 40 years. With four campuses located throughout East Harris County, the College serves as a training hub to the largest petrochemical manufacturing complex in the United States, and second largest in the world with 90 industries and 130 plants. The College plays a vital role in helping the region become the “Energy Capital of the World.”

With San Jacinto College’s $60 million LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology, the industry will benefit with a strengthening of training in key petrochemical manufacturing areas. The College relies on industry feedback by inviting representatives to be a part of its Petrochemical Advisory Council. Formed by San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, the Council includes leaders from the petrochemical industry and plant managers. The Council is tasked with continually assessing the curriculum, equipment and planning for the Center.

In October 2017, Jim Griffin joined San Jacinto College as Associate Vice Chancellor / Senior Vice President for the Petrochemical Training Division. In his new position, Griffin oversees the curriculum and instruction of the College’s petrochemical-related training programs, as well as the development of the LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology. Learn more about Mr. Griffin and his role.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers eight areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to four-year colleges or universities or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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