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Lamar Institute of Technology Unveils Petrochemical Center

Funded in part by federal COVID-19 relief programs, the school’s 40,000-square-foot facility has 17 technical lab spaces where students will train in multiple disciplines and fields of the energy industry.

oil and gas industry illustration
(TNS) — The Lamar Institute of Technology in Texas and ExxonMobil on Thursday celebrated the latest symbol of their partnership to train the next generation of petrochemical professionals with the dedication of the school’s state-of-the art learning center.

Representatives from the school and the company met to unveil the newly renamed ExxonMobil Petrochemical & Advanced Technology Center on LIT’s campus, which houses learning spaces for process operating and instrumentation students.

In February 2020, the Texas State University System voted to honor the company with the naming title of the center as a token of its support for LIT’s programs.

LIT and ExxonMobil’s partnership dates back over three decades, according to the school, and the company has donated more than $1 million so far in funds, equipment or scholarships since 2009.

“I am excited and we are delighted to have this level of support,” LIT President Lonnie Howard said. “We understand that it really takes a village, and here in Southeast Texas, we are a community.”

The center is around 40,000 square feet and has 17 technical lab spaces where students will train in multiple disciplines and fields of the energy industry.

LIT has leveraged emergency funds from federal COVID-19 relief programs targeting educational institutes to support students with tuition, but it has done more than retain students.

Due in part to two consecutive allocations of state funding in the legislative budget that allowed it to lower tuition and the success of programs like processing and instrumentation, LIT recently celebrated its fifth consecutive year of enrollment growth.

Howard said that success was supported by ExxonMobil employees that serve on its curriculum board and former employees now serving as instructors that have helped contribute to its now 94.9 percent job placement rate.

That is an outcome that is also beneficial to the company, according to ExxonMobil representatives, as they work to recruit the next class of professionals for their Southeast Texas investments and beyond.

“We are incredibly grateful to our neighbors at LIT for this prestigious honor,” Rozena Dendy, ExxonMobil Beaumont Refinery Manager, said in a statement. “It’s our hope that next generation of students will take advantage of the career training and co-occupational opportunities made possible through LIT, and that many consider being a part of our Beaumont family.”

The school also has recently celebrated technological upgrades at its center that it hopes to leverage to better prepare students.

Emerson Electric and local partner Scallon Controls donated the majority of funds for a new $1.5 million upgrade for the school’s three-story ethylene-glycol distillation separation unit last August that is currently in use during practical labs.

©2021 the Beaumont Enterprise (Beaumont, Texas). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.