Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) is enhancing career opportunities in El Paso and the West Texas region through a $274,000 grant that opens a clear path for high school students to enter the skilled trades. The company will provide industry-grade equipment and guidance for a training program that links students in a local school district to El Paso Community College (EPCC) where they can earn advanced welding certifications and an associate degree.
“This investment reflects Marathon Petroleum’s priority to improve lives in the communities where we operate. We strive to create measurable impacts through shared value and partnering with organizations like El Paso Community College where we can make a positive difference together,” said MPC’s El Paso refinery General Manager C.P. Patsatzis. “We are honored to be a part of this workforce development program that has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of its graduates.”
Sharing wisdom and experience
The Marathon Petroleum Corporation High School-to-College Transition Program in Welding Technology is a collaboration with EPCC and the Ysleta Independent School District’s Career Center Welding Program. MPC will provide a variety of equipment to facilitate the new training initiative, such as band saws, welding torches, safety harnesses and a hydraulic shop press. Beyond the grant, MPC is helping shape the curriculum and providing expertise about industry standards and qualifications students need to become career-ready. El Paso refinery employees also will serve as mentors for students to help them understand welding career expectations, including the safety knowledge that’s required.
Enrollment will target welding students who lack the requirements to test for Level 1 or Level 2 welding certificates as well as graduating students who want to pursue an associate degree. Students who achieve Level 2 certification after EPCC training will be qualified to perform pipe-fitting and advanced welding processes.
“As an employer of skilled trade workers, we understand directly this region’s need for certified welders and the value this program will bring,” Patsatzis said. “In the past, welding students who left high school without certifications would often not continue their training, so this assistance will make it easier for them to stay on the road to promising futures.”