San Jacinto College opens LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology

Sep 18, 2019Torrie Hardcastle

San Jacinto College opens LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology
The largest training facility in the Gulf Coast Region was designed by industry, for industry

PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College marked the grand opening of the new LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology Sept. 18 with more than 350 elected officials, industry partners, community members, faculty, and staff.

The ceremony revealed LyondellBasell as the facility's naming rights partner, honoring the company's generous $5 million donation and support in helping to develop the facility's curriculum, aligning with LyondellBasell's strong commitment to workforce development.

The new, cutting-edge training facility is located at 7901 W. Fairmont Parkway on the College's Central Campus, placing it square in the heart of the largest petrochemical manufacturing complex in the U.S., where 90 companies operate 132 plants within a 13-mile radius of the College's new facility.

As a top 10 community college in the nation and the country's second-largest producer of process operator graduates, San Jacinto College plays a vital role in helping the region maintain its status as the "Energy Capital of the World." The new technologically advanced center will enhance the College's ability to provide unrivaled, hands-on training in real-world labs, designed with current industry needs in mind.

"This building has been many years in the making," said San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. "It is a true collaborative effort between industry and higher education. Many of our industry partners served on our advisory council, steering committees, and sub teams to provide insight and expertise on everything from building design, curriculum programming, and creating a safety culture to equipment and software recommendations. This facility has truly been designed by industry, for industry."

The College's new $60 million facility spans a 151,000-square-foot complex with a separate 8,000-square-foot, two-story process training unit and boasts 35 custom interior labs, including a multifunctional glass pilot lab, 20 interactive classrooms, four custom workstations, advanced control rooms, and conference, training, and assembly spaces to accommodate academic, community, and industrial functions.

Students will have access to hands-on training experiences as they work toward associate degrees and industry certifications in Electrical Technology, Environmental Health and Safety Technology, Instrumentation Technology, Nondestructive Testing, Process Technology.

As part of the Center's offerings, the College will be expanding its contract training. Through these efforts, the College will work with companies to create customized and confidential employee training for incumbent workers, maximizing the region's ability to capitalize on the College's new facility, faculty, and resources.

"The need for a facility like this has never been greater," said Jim Griffin, CPET associate vice chancellor/senior vice president. "We're seeing a growing industry that's investing more than $60 billion in new capital locally. At the same time our baby boomers are exiting the workforce, so the workforce needs are growing along with the job opportunities. This new facility expands the College's capabilities to bridge that gap by developing and training the industry's current and future workforce in a technologically advanced environment designed with industry input."

LyondellBasell Senior Vice President of Americas Manufacturing Mike VanDerSnick agreed, saying, "We are a future-focused company dedicated to finding the right people for the right positions, and that includes addressing one of our industry's pressing needs, training the next generation of workers. The LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology is an example of industry, educators, and the community working collaboratively to host events and annual conferences in support of workforce development."

Many of the region's industry leaders also donated funding and equipment to the College's new training center and its related programs, including Eaton, Emerson, Albemarle Foundation, BIC Magazine/BIC Recruiting, Dow, Evosite LLC, Hunter Buildings, INEOS Olefins and Polymers USA, International Cooling Tower, Kuraray, Lubrizol, nVent Thermal Management, Olympus Corporations of the Americas, Shell Oil Company, Siemens Analytical Products & Solutions, Swagelok, and Donald Wiedemeyer Valve World.

"Partnering with our community has always been a core value at San Jacinto College," said Board of Trustees Vice Chair John Moon Jr. "When industry partners tell us what they need and we implement curriculum that meets both our high educational standards and their job requirement standards, the result is a positive collaboration producing skilled graduates who are seen by companies as first and foremost qualified to do the job on day one."

For more information about CPET, visit

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor's and Moody's, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers eight areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to four-year colleges or universities or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.