Gulf Coast Growth Ventures announces new round of scholarships for DMC students
Article by: Michael Bratten
In its continuing effort to invest in the local workforce, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, LLC (GCGV) has announced it is awarding $60,000 in scholarships to help Del Mar College (DMC) students earn associate’s degrees and gain marketable job skills.
Del Mar College is an excellent partner as it prepares students to enter the process technology workforce. Our two companies, ExxonMobil and SABIC, understand how critical advanced technical education is to help ensure a competent, qualified workforce in the industrial sector. These scholarships will benefit the students of San Patricio County and the Coastal Bend.
SABIC is delighted to be part of the collaboration to create a pipeline of highly technical skilled individuals for the region. Many may not realize that the skills development curve is longer for employees in the petrochemical industry compared to other industries. That is why it is important for companies to offer scholarships to attract students to these programs, which will ultimately better prepare applicants for the workforce.
To qualify for a scholarship, students must major in either Process Technology, Industrial Instrumentation, Industrial Machining, Occupational Safety and Health or Environmental/Petrochemical Lab Technology – all of which involve job skills that are highly sought after by local industries.
GCGV has proven their commitment to the greater community by supporting students who are working towards degrees in Process Technology and other related fields. Scholarships make a huge difference for many of our students. By offering these funds, GCGV is steering students toward career opportunities that can change their lives and the lives of their families for years to come.
Of the $60,000, full scholarships of $2,000 may be awarded to DMC students taking nine or more credit hours, and partial scholarships to those taking three to eight hours, according to GCGV. Eligible students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
Preference will be given to students from San Patricio County; specifically, those from Gregory, Portland, Ingleside and Taft.
GCGV, a joint venture between ExxonMobil and SABIC, is building an ethylene production plant on a 1,300-acre site in San Patricio County. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2021, and it will generate 600 permanent operating jobs with an average salary of $90,000 per year.
While scholarship recipients are not guaranteed employment with the project after they graduate, they will have a competitive advantage because of their scholarship award.
“The program, faculty and facility at Del Mar College are impressive,” Guilfoyle said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership to align curriculum to ensure Del Mar students are prepared for the high-quality, good-paying careers we will have at our plant.”
This is GCGV’s latest investment in DMC’s workforce training programs. Last August, it donated $100,000 to the San Patricio County Workforce Development Consortium to support DMC’s career and technical education programs in the county’s high schools. And in February 2018, it awarded $54,000 in scholarships to 17 DMC Process Technology majors.
“The scholarship was a blessing because it enabled me to take the classes I needed and finish my degree,” said Kimberly Tagle, one of the 17 recipients who has since graduated with an associate’s degree in Process Technology. “Before, I wasn’t very confident about myself. But now, I think I have the skills to get hired.”
Before she enters the workforce, Tagle decided to pursue a second associate’s degree in Environmental/Petrochemical Lab Technology to make herself even more marketable, she said. She plans to graduate next year.
Last year’s scholarships from GCGV were also a blessing for Romeo Lascano, Jr.
“I’m in my mid 40s, so juggling work, school and being a parent was a challenge,” said Lascano, a Process Technology graduate. “The scholarship was a big help. It validated all the hard work and late nights studying.”
Lascano offered a bit of advice to students who will benefit from the latest round of GCGV scholarships.
“Nothing is impossible if you’re committed to achieving it,” he said. “Don’t ever give up.”
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.