ExxonMobil to fund training program for chemical jobs in Texas

In an effort to close the skills gap in the chemical industry, ExxonMobil has announced that it will fund a $500,000 workforce training initiative at Houston area community colleges.

The company said that the funding will help build on the success of a nationally recognized Lee College ExxonMobil Process Technology Program and will benefit 50,000 students over the next five years who will likely be able to find high-paying jobs in the chemical and energy fields. Exxon has already contributed more than $2.6 million over the past 10 years to manufacturing training programs across the United States.

ExxonMobil said it anticipates adding more jobs in Texas as it awaits construction permits to expand its petrochemical plant in Baytown. 

"The chemical industry supports 73,000 high-paying Texas manufacturing jobs and will add more under announced expansion plans by industry, including ExxonMobil," Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company, said in a news release. "Our industry has made Texas the top chemical producing state in the nation."

Speaking at the recent International Liquid Terminals Association Operating Conference and Trade Show, Dan Borne, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association, said the industry is poised for significant job growth since there has been a reversal in U.S. natural gas prices in recent years.