On Wednesday, March 14, nearly two dozen volunteers from Marathon Petroleum’s Illinois Refining Division (IRD), Marathon Pipe Line (MPL), and Terminal Transport & Rail (TT&R) came together with nearly 50 local and regional industrial contractors and businesses and roughly a dozen technical schools to put on the 4th Annual FIND Your Career Day Event at Robinson High School in Robinson, Illinois.
The purpose of FIND (Focus, Initiate, Network, and Develop) – which is open to high school and college students as well as the local community – is to provide a unique opportunity for students and job seekers to learn more about education and careers in a variety of growing vocational fields. The event – sponsored by a partnership between Marathon Petroleum Company and Lincoln Trail College – began in 2014.
The goal of FIND is a little different than a regular career fair. While industrial career opportunities continue to thrive, the number of skilled laborers and tradespeople available to fulfill these roles continuously represents a challenge – not just for MPC, but for the contractors that assist with operating our business. FIND focuses on educating students about the types of jobs they can get with a vocational degree and introduces them to the learning institutions in their vicinity that offer them.
This year’s FIND event was the first to be held in a local high school. Held at Robinson High School, students came from other high schools up to two hours away. Most schools also sent guidance counselors so they, too, could learn more about these potential career paths. In addition to providing information about technical education programs, students participating in FIND had the opportunity to apply for a number of scholarships and take part in scavenger hunts for Marathon retail gas cards. More than 700 students participated in the 2018 FIND Day.
Students also learned about MPC careers within Refining, MPL and TT&R. MPC employees were on hand to provide demonstrations in instrumentation, refining process flows, and even the operation of drones to patrol pipeline rights of way.
Janette Smith, IRD Refining Information Group supervisor, said, “FIND’s growing success proves it’s making a positive difference in the lives of students. This event takes numerous planning hours and integrated teamwork. That effort is well worth it, proven by just a few of the successes I enjoyed observing this year.”
IRD Project Coordinator Ed Brewer recognized a connection MPC employees made with one particular group of students. “I have been honored to be a part of this event each year,” he said. “This year, I watched an MPL employee reel a self-professed ‘group of gamers’ into a drone presentation and create an engaging conversation of how their interests could be facilitated in future careers.”
“This was my first FIND event, and I couldn’t have been more impressed with what our employees put together,” adds IRD HR Manager Megan Davies. “It truly shows their commitment not only to the future of these students, but also the long-term success of our company. IRD is proud to have co-sponsored this successful event, and looks forward to continually growing and developing it as an avenue for candidates to FIND their way into our industry.”
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