Training a Skilled Workforce

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Brazosport_training_skilled_workforceBrazosport College focuses on state-of-the-art facilities

If it’s been a few years since you’ve taken a stroll on the grounds of Brazosport College, the campus might not be instantly recognizable. Not only has the College grown in numbers and programs, its facilities have also made huge transformations.

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Representatives from the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) stand in front of the BCPC Welding Technologies Lab during the building’s dedication on March 23, 2016.

During the past five years, Brazosport College has added a number of facilities, including the BASF Center for Process Technology, the Dow Academic Center, the Byron and Sandra Sadler Health Professions/Science Complex, a new Student Pavilion and a revitalized library. Thanks to generous contributions from the community and industry partners, these facilities have enhanced Brazosport College’s vision of providing the very best programs with the latest technologies.

But there’s more. Actually, there’s much more.

In the past few months, Brazosport College has raised the bar on its already impressive workforce training facilities with the addition of the BCPC Welding Technologies Lab and the Freeport LNG Crafts Academy.

These two facilities offer superior training for this area’s ever-growing workforce and, once again, were made possible by the community and the College’s industry partners.

Freeport LNG Crafts Academy

Dedicated on February 16, 2016, The Freeport LNG Crafts Academy is a 43,500 square-foot facility located within Brazosport College’s Science Technology Corridor.

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Representatives from Freeport LNG stand in front of the Freeport LNG Crafts Academy sign during the building’s dedication on February 16, 2016.

The building supports workforce training for a variety of programs, including industrial and commercial pipefitting, industrial and commercial electricity, drafting, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration, machine technology/millwright, safety health and environmental management, industrial and commercial construction and automotive programs.

“It is an honor to have Freeport LNG’s name on a major building in the Science Technology Corridor of our campus,” said Brazosport College President Dr. Millicent Valek. “This partnership makes it possible for Brazosport College to have the labs and facilities necessary to deliver quality programs and to train a skilled workforce.”

The facility was originally constructed in 1978 and renovated in 2014-2015 thanks to the generosity of a $1 million investment from Freeport LNG Development, L.P., as well as contributions from other contractors, industry partners and members of the Brazosport community.

“The development of our gas liquefaction and LNG export project in Southern Brazoria County will mean the need for a highly-skilled workforce,” said Michael S. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Freeport LNG. “I am pleased that we are able to provide an investment to the College that will assist in providing the training and education necessary to help us staff our new facility.”

BCPC Welding Technologies Lab

Brazosport College’s newest building is the BCPC Welding Technologies Lab, which was dedicated on March 23, 2016. The new facility replaces the College’s old welding lab, which was more than 40 years old.

The new lab also allows Brazosport College to do its part in helping to properly train new welders, which are in high demand.

“The demand overall, worldwide, is huge for welders,” said Jay Barr, Brazosport College Instructor of Welding Technology. “In order to fill the industry needs, we needed more space and a filtration system so we could train in alloys. The industry standard is that we protect our students and the environment from the different fume extractions, so we went to a filtration system. Now we’re able to fulfill those industry needs.”

The BCPC Welding Technologies Lab is 10,800 square feet and allows the College to train 50 to 60 welders at a time, which is a third more than the original lab could train. The lab also houses virtual trainers and computers, among other top-level equipment needed to provide the most current training.

The facility was made possible by contributions to the Brazosport College Foundation by local industry, individuals and businesses, which included a $1 million gift from the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC).

“BCPC is proud to make a major contribution in support of the BCPC Welding Technologies Lab,” said Lisa LaBean, BCPC Chair and Dow Chemical Company Responsible Care Director. “Students will receive training and experience here that will give them opportunities for successful long-term careers which benefits our entire community.”

The BCPC is a group made up of 20 of the leading companies in the chemical industry that operate in southern Brazoria County with the purpose of sharing knowledge and understanding about subjects other than specific operations, but ones that will affect all of them. BCPC companies contributing to the $1 million gift to the Brazosport College Foundation are Air Liquide America Corporation; Ascend Performance Materials, Inc.; BASF Corporation; Braskem America; Chevron Phillips Chemical Company; DSM Nutritional Products, Inc.; Freeport LNG Development, L.P.; Gulf Chemical & Metallurgical Corporation; Phillips 66; Shintech/Shin-Etsu Silicones/K-Bin; SI Group; The Dow Chemical Company; and Vencorex.

For more information about the BCPC Welding Technologies Lab, the Freeport LNG Crafts Academy or other Brazosport College facilities, call the Brazosport College Foundation, at (979) 230-3245 or go online at
www.brazosport.edu/foundation. To learn more about Brazosport College, call (979) 230-3000 or visit www.brazosport.edu.

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