LEMONT, Ill., March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As a part of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline Initiative, last month the Lemont Refinery partnered with The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project to host an all-day learning workshop for STEM teachers and their students at the Lemont Township Community Center. A total of 10 teachers and 29 middle and high school students attended the CITGO Energy Workshop – representing school districts from the towns of Crest Hill, Lemont and Romeoville.
Together, the teachers and students spent the morning rotating through 10 different tactile learning stations – each one focusing on a different energy source. Over lunch, Dawn DeSandre, Lemont Refinery Human Resources, spoke to the students about specific STEM-related career opportunities with CITGO, and the NEED leaders closed the day with activities designed to give the students a better understanding of the oil refining process. Teachers received STEM resources to take back to their respective schools, as well as a Science of Energy kit to use in their classrooms.
Through their partnership, CITGO and NEED strive to bring energy curriculum into the classroom in the hopes of expanding students' knowledge of and interest in energy, while also encouraging them to explore careers in the oil, gas and transportation sectors. The NEED workshops have also been held near CITGO refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana and corporate headquarters in Houston.
"NEED workshops are another way that CITGO is investing in the next generation of leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. By spending the day with their teachers in a workshop setting like this, these students will help teach and influence their peers in the classroom," said Jim Cristman, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.
The CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program partners with educational organizations near the company's operational areas to increase access to STEM educational opportunities. The program promotes the importance of STEM education in the socioeconomic development of our communities and highlights the numerous pathways to rewarding careers, including those in the energy industry. It provides grants to schools and educational organizations to support programs that increase student interest, retention and graduation rates – particularly at the high school and post-secondary levels – and those that prepare students for STEM technical and university level curriculum. The program also provides scholarships for students pursuing higher degrees in STEM fields. In 2016, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline benefited 3,000 students and 300 educators across the CITGO operational footprint, strengthening the communities where the company has a presence.
About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
For over 90 years, CITGO Lemont Refinery has employed more than 750 Chicago area residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 5,500 locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont Refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. Operations at the Lemont Refinery began in 1925 with a major expansion, doubling the facility, in 1933. Over the years, new units were added to meet the demand for a better quality of gas for automobiles, aviation fuel for WWII, and the production of asphalt. Petróleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, acquired 100% ownership of the refinery in 1997 and began operations as CITGO Lemont Refinery. For more information, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.
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SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation