Nearly a decade ago, Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC’s) Diversity and Refinery Management teams in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, sponsored the first-ever Catlettsburg Refinery Career Fair, with about 1,700 area eighth-grade students in attendance. A principal goal of that fair recently came to fruition, in the form of Clay Woford and Brent Garner.
“The purpose of the fair is to demonstrate career opportunities at the refinery, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” explains Catlettsburg Community Relations Representative Sheila Fraley. “We targeted eighth-graders to make them aware of careers available here before beginning high school and choosing a potential career field. Clay and Brent participated in the first-ever Catlettsburg Career Fair, and both have since completed college and begun careers at the refinery.”
“I was blessed to have MPC mentors growing up – at church and on the ball field. But I had no idea what the ‘job side’ of life entailed,” recalls Woford, now an environmental professional at Catlettsburg. “The Career Fair had a model FCC unit and other technology-based displays showing complex processes in science and engineering, and I found that intriguing. I’d previously passed by the refinery with no idea what went on here. The Career Fair showed me what goes on at the refinery and job opportunities here locally.”
Like his former classmate and fellow University of Louisville graduate, Garner learned a lot about refinery processes and job prospects at the Career Fair. He continues to learn as a refining engineer at Catlettsburg. “There are a lot of opportunities to make a difference,” says Garner. “As a co-op at Galveston Bay, I took part in science fairs with area students, for instance. At Catlettsburg, I get to host students at the Savage Branch Wildlife Reserve. I love the culture here and being able to count on MPC doing what’s right. Plus, I work with great people.”
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