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DMC Industry-focused Students Learn about Gulf Coast Growth Ventures’ Competitive Spring 2024 Internships, How to Apply

Selected six to seven students will gain valuable experience working alongside current GCGV employees as they “learn the ropes” at local ethylene production plant

Article by Melinda Eddleman

Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Internship Presentation_103023_Classroom Shot

As a college student, getting a paid internship is like landing that big fish But,  “learning the ropes” alongside a potential employer’s workforce can provide the experience and extended knowledge that springboards them to a successful career either with that employer or somewhere else.

On Oct. 30, about 60 Del Mar College (DMC) students majoring in fields taught in the College’s Industry Technology pathway––including Process Technology, Millwright, Industrial Instrumentation, Industrial Machining and other programs–– heard about such an opportunity available next spring semester. Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV) presented an informational session about their competitive paid internships that will start in late January.

The Coastal Bend is poised for a lot of growth, so it’s imperative that we have a skilled workforce to operate in the community safely and sustainably.

Justin McKenzie, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Process Department Head

McKenzie provided the presentation about the internships and their role in building local labor for the company, which GCGV is specifically targeting students currently training to become process technicians to meet GCGV’s immediate workforce demand.

Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Internship Presentation_103023_Justin McKenzie presenting

When asked how many interns the company would select to start Jan. 29, he noted only six to seven students who apply would be chosen for the highly-competitive spots; but, they’re not guaranteed full-time employment when the internship is completed.

“We’re looking to fill vacancies with the best and brightest when areas lose employees to retirement, the company experiences growth or experiences attrition,” he said.   

Gulf Coast Growth Ventures began operations in late 2021 as a joint venture between ExxonMobil and SABIC in San Patricio County. The world-scale facility produces polymers that become products that enhance our everyday lives. The facility has about 600 employees with an average salary of $90,000. 

 The internships, which can last six months or more, will provide students extended hands-on training while contributing to operations alongside GCGV employees in the plant after they complete their first five weeks. Students will also earn a competitive wage and benefits, McKenzie noted when asked.

Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend reports that 3,000 jobs are currently available in the region’s petrochemical industry.

With the Coastal Bend’s overall demand in these occupations poised for growth, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures will also contribute to this employment growth by filling their own labor needs with our highly skilled graduates and those students completing the company’s internships. And, we know their needs will expand to fill positions with graduates from a number of training programs Del Mar College offers that address the petrochemical industry’s workforce.

Dan Korus, DMC Dean of Workforce Programs & Corporate Services

Those positions include not only process technology operators and petrochemical laboratory technicians but also instrumentation technicians, millwrights, electricians, industrial machinists and analyzer technicians.

GCGV’s paid internships aren’t the only investment made by the company to support Del Mar College and its students. Since 2018, GCGV has donated $185,000 toward scholarships through the DMC Foundation that have benefitted 72 students majoring in fields producing the skilled workers the company seeks.

GCGV donation

Additionally, in March 2019 as part of their “Good Neighbor” Program, GCGV donated $1.5 million for the College’s purchase of the most contemporary training equipment available, including distillation, extraction and water treatment units and flow trainers that are now housed in the “Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Process Technology Lab” in the Workforce Development Center on the Windward Campus. The donation was part of GCGV’s commitment to workforce development and enhanced quality of life in the Coastal Bend. (DMC news release)

The lab now provides DMC students with crucial hands-on experiences with cutting-edge technology before they join industry. Currently, DMC students from several programs train with equipment in the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures Process Technology Lab, including those majoring in Process Technology, Industrial Instrumentation, Industrial Machining, Occupational Safety and Health, Environmental/Petrochemical Lab Technology and Millwright`–––all programs that reinforce the workforce needs of GCGV and other industry employers in the region.



About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.