New Brazosport CAER Siren Testing Scheduled for July 10 2023

New Brazosport CAER Siren Test.

As a part of its members’ commitment to community safety, Brazosport CAER (Community Awareness and Emergency Response) has completed maintenance on the CAER siren system and it has been upgraded to newer technology. The CAER sirens will have a different sound, cover a broader area, and may be heard by community members who have not heard them before in order to better inform the community if an industrial event requiring action takes place.

The first test of the upgraded siren system will take place MONDAY, JULY 10 AT 12:10 P.M. During this test, the sirens will sound for up to three (3) minutes, in accordance with FEMA guidelines. CAER is part of the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) Environment Health and Safety committee. To learn more please visit https://brazosportcaer.com.

This clip comes from The Facts newspaper published June 28, 2023.

Industry to pay for Surfside Beach Playground

New equipment for Surfside Jetty Park will be made wholly from recycled plastics….

ANGLETON — Fifteen Brazoria County petrochemical companies have partnered to bring a new playground to a county park made from recycled plastics.

The representatives from the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council assembled Tuesday morning before commissioners’ court to announce the $210,000 donation. The money will allow the county to replace the playground at Surfside Beach Jetty Park, which had to be removed because it became a hazard after long-term exposure to the elements.

Representatives of the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council and Brazosport County Parks Department pose with county commissioners Tuesday after announcing the BCPC would donate $210,000 to provide a playground made of recycled plastics for Surfside Jetty Park.

“Anytime you look at investing dollars into something like that, you’re talking about some serious dollars. So we were prepared to go back to the drawing board,” Brazoria County Parks Director Bryan Frazier said. “What could we put out that would last a little longer?” The petrochemical council reached out about that time suggesting a partnership and asking what potential projects the parks department would have in mind. Installing playground equipment made from recycled plastics jumped to the top of the list.

“It gives the interpretive message of what we are all about anyway, which is, ‘Don’t throw your plastic bottles on the ground,’” Frazier said. “Do something positive with them; recycle them. And they answered the call.”

Contributors to the council’s donation include MEGlobal Americas, Dow Chemical, BASF, Freeport LNG, Shintech, K-Bin, Shin-Etsu, Olin Corp., Port Freeport, DSM, Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas Freeport, Ineos, Phillips 66, Chevron Phillips Chemical and LyondellBasell.

It likely will be about six months after the new equipment is ordered before the playground is open, Frazier said. The department hopes to place the order as soon as possible, and it will take several months to arrive, he said.

The $210,000 donation should cover most if not all of the cost of the equipment and installation, Frazier said.

https://thefacts.com/news/industry-to-pay-for-surfside-beach-playground/article_1e84ed07-9062-5235-bf57-fe8051ece01f.html

 

Fox & friends full banner

Fox & Friends Talks Live About the BCPC Signing Day 2023

Early Monday May 1, 2023 Aaron Ennis, Workforce Development chair along with Jax Lawson of Brazosport High School and Ashley Shugart of Columbia High School spoke live with Fox & Friends host Steve Doucey about ‘Signing Day.’ This was the first, live, nationwide television interview about Signing Day in its 5 year history.

While the interview was just over 4 minutes long, it took many hours over several days for Aaron, Jax and Ashley to prepare. Fitting specific ideas and messages into a tight timeframe is challenging for anyone. All three arrived before dark that Monday morning knowing what their messages were, how to deliver them while considering what the host and people watching wanted to know more about. It was great and all three were terrific.

Follow this link to watch the full interview:

 Fox & Friends Interview on BCPC Signing Day 2023

Signing Day Covered in The Facts Newspaper

Getting To Work

The Facts covers Signing Day 2023 on the Front Page

Member of the BCPC were pleased to see their ‘hometown’ newspaper give a prominent, page one placement to the Workforce Development Committee’s Signing Day 2023 event.Front Page News Signing Day 2023

Members and contract companies of the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) offered 79 career jobs in skilled trades to select 2023 graduates from Brazoria and Matagorda County High Schools on ‘Signing Day.’  Skilled trade jobs include welding, pipefitting, millwright, ironworking, electrical, instrumentation, HVAC, carpentry, and more. Brazoria and Matagorda Counties are in southeast Texas near Houston.

Career Signing Day

Known as ‘Career Signing Day,’ and modeled after athletic scholarship signings, the public presentation of those who will transition from school to the workforce after graduation was Monday, May 1, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. at the Brazosport College Dow Academic Center, 500 College Drive, Lake Jackson, TX 77566.

What Is the Job?

Graduates will work full time for local contract companies with assignments inside BCPC member plants and contract company shops. All will receive on the job instruction. There are also roles offered this year in what are known as ‘soft trades’ like construction scheduling, maintenance technician, environmental technicians, quality control and lab technicians.

Gaps to Fill

With an aging workforce and a growing industry, there is a broad need for craftspeople at refinery and petrochemical companies. High school graduates who are not interested in a four-year degree can attain specialized skills with wages that will support a family.

Members of the BCPC can recruit employees from the local population due to the career and technical programs at local high schools and the areas’ community colleges. Local recruits will often have a more profound connection to an area, as they are frequently more familiar with the culture, customs, and traditions of the region. They likely have existing relationships with people in the community, which can help them transition from high school into the workforce more easily.

Focused Applicant Screening

There was intense candidate selection that included written applications, essays and 720 job interviews by 42 contract companies affiliated with the BCPC member companies. Each of the 180 students interviewed 4 times with hiring organizations.

Those hired will receive many bonuses with their new roles. One example is ‘Ace Image Wear’ will provide free fire-retardant clothing to students who are offered a job.

 

From left to right are Jax Lawson of Brazosport High School, Aaron Ennis the BCPC Workforce Development Chair and Ashley Shugart of Columbia High School talk live with Fox News host,Steve Doucey.

BCPC Signing Day Featured on National Television

BCPC Signing Day for 2023 was featured on Fox News ‘Fox & Friends’ program May 1, 2023. Aaron Ennis, chair of the BCPC Workforce Development Committee along with Jax Lawson of Brazosport High School and Ashley Shugart participated.

Please click here to see the interview: https://www.foxnews.com/video/6326567179112.

More Facts About the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council Signing Day Event 2023

  1. On Monday May 1, 2023, The Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) will ‘sign’ approximately 79 graduating seniors to full time career jobs in the skilled trade professions. This occurs at its annual ‘Career Signing Day’ event.
  2. This is the fifth BCPC Career Signing Day. It is based on ceremonies for athletic scholarship signings.
  3. These 77 job proposals are over double the number offered to graduating seniors on Career Signing Day in 2022 when 48 jobs were offered. This is more than triple the number the year before that. All this because BCPC members decided to develop their skilled workforce with local residents.
  4. All ‘signees’ are May 2023 graduates who come from Brazoria and Matagorda Counties, respectively. Both counties are in southeast Texas adjacent to Houston.
  5. These May 2023 graduates will start work sometime after commencement in skilled trade jobs that include welding, pipefitting, millwright, ironworking, electrical, instrumentation, HVAC, carpentry, and more.
  6. Members of the BCPC need skilled workers to help build and maintain manufacturing plants. The program is built to hire new, young talent through career and technical education programs; it’s a great way to learn. In return BCPC member companies have a skilled labor.
  7. The petrochemical industry has been in Brazoria County, Texas since 1939, providing jobs, paying taxes, and contributing to the local educational system and non-profit organizations.
  8. In the last decade, BCPC member companies have invested more than $31 billion in Brazoria County, TX. creating thousands of high-wage jobs. In 2022 alone, industry had a $3.3 billion economic impact on Brazoria County.
The line moved quickly for interviews that would lead to full time jobs inside the petrochemical manufacturing industry.

Another Record Setting Number of Jobs Offered to High School Graduates from Brazoria County, Texas

Full time work that includes specialized training, college, and certification.

Members and contract companies of the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) will offer approximately 79 jobs for career in skilled trades to select 2023 graduates from Brazoria and Matagorda County High Schools. Skilled trade jobs include welding, pipefitting, millwright, ironworking, electrical, instrumentation, HVAC, carpentry, and more.

Graduates work full time for local contract companies with assignments inside BCPC member plants and contract company shops. All will receive on the job instruction. There are also roles offered this year in what are known as ‘soft trades’ like construction scheduling, maintenance technician, environmental technicians, quality control and lab technicians.

Career Signing Day

Known as ‘Career Signing Day,’ and modeled after athletic scholarship signings, the public presentation of those who will transition from school to the workforce after graduation will be Monday, May 1, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. at the Brazosport College Dow Academic Center, 500 College Drive, Lake Jackson, TX 77566.

Gaps to Fill

With an aging workforce and a growing industry, there is a broad need for craftspeople at refinery and petrochemical companies. High school graduates who are not interested in a four-year degree can attain specialized skills with wages that will support a family.

Members of the BCPC can recruit employees from the local population due to the career and technical programs at local high schools and the areas’ community colleges. Local recruits will often have a more profound connection to an area, as they are frequently more familiar with the culture, customs, and traditions of the region. They likely have existing relationships with people in the community, which can help them transition from high school into the workforce more easily.

Focused Applicant Screening

There was intense candidate selection that included written applications, essays and 720 job interviews by 42 contract companies affiliated with the BCPC member companies. Each of the 180 students interviewed 4 times with hiring organizations.

Those hired will receive many bonuses with their new roles. One example is ‘Ace Image Wear’ will provide free fire-retardant clothing to students who are offered a job.

About the BCPC

The BCPC is composed of chemical, petrochemical companies and other organizations that manufacture, refine, convert, store, and/or transport energy, basic chemical, or specialty chemical products. The goal of the BCPC is to enhance the well-being of the member company employees, contract employees, their families, and neighbors, here in Brazoria County. The BCPC motto is: Earn the publics’ trust every day. More information can be found online at www.Brazoria-County-Petrochemical-Council.com.

 

 

Career Signing Day Wins Major Award for Helping Students Find Careers in Industry

Career Signing Day Wins Major Award for Helping Students Find Careers in Industry

BCPC Signing Day Committee Accepts Award at CURT Conference

Greg Sizemore, Executive Vice President at CURT; Jim Ellis, President at CURT; and BCPC Career Signing Day Committee Members: Jessie Jennings, Executive Director at Brazosport ISD Education Foundation; Spencer Cole, Sr. Talent Acquisition Advisor at BASF, Wendy Irwin, Community Relations Liaison at Chevron Phillips Chemical; and Aaron Ennis, Brazosport ISD Resource Development Coordinator

The Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) Career Signing Day was awarded the Workforce Development Award by the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), an international recognition for extraordinary, exemplary, and innovative training and education programs that encourages individuals to pursue a career in the construction industry and/or enhance individuals construction skills. Additionally, BCPC Career Signing Day won the top award of $5,000 jointly sponsored by CURT, the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER), and Ironworker Management Progressive Actions Cooperative Trust (IMPACT).

Created four years ago, the BCPC Career Signing Day has “signed” over 80 high school students into craft careers. Modeled after athletic signing days, Career Signing Day is an occasion for graduating high school seniors to be placed in full-time roles for work and on-the-job training. It connects the career and technology curriculum at local high schools to life-sustaining careers in the industry.

“This award is a reflection of everyone’s hard work and dedication to growing our future workforce,” said Aaron Ennis, Chair of the BCPC Workforce Development Committee and Brazosport ISD Resource Development Coordinator. “None of this would be possible without the collaboration of the people at owner companies, construction companies, school districts, and community colleges.”

CURT is an association of leading corporations in the United States and Canada dedicated to promoting

cost-effective construction methods. CURT members recognize that training, education, and recruitment are essential to excellence in construction project delivery. As a result, CURT founded the Workforce Development Awards to recognize companies and organizations for extraordinary, exemplary, and innovative recruitment, training, and education programs, encouraging people to pursue construction careers.

The BCPC Career Signing Day application will be open for high school seniors in January 2023 and closes on March 3. Interviews will be on April 5 with May 1 being the 5th annual BCPC Career Signing Day.

CAER REPACKAGED BRAZOSPORT INDUSTRIAL ALERT SYSTEM CHANGING WITH THE TIMES

CAER Repackaged Brazosport Industrial Alert System Changing the Times

Times are changing, and so is Brazosport’s CAER program as the area’s booming industrial center continues to grow.

CAER, or Community Awareness and Emergency Response, is an organization that promotes two-way communication between the community and industries in the area. It acts as a link between the two in order to provide Brazoria County residents with information in the event of an industrial emergency.

The program is comprised of about 20 industrial partners in the Brazosport area who work with CAER on a volunteer basis. Partners include Dow Chemical Co., BASF and Freeport LNG, CAER Vice President Reme Lara said.

“Every member’s goal is to keep their employees and the community safe; that’s why they are a part of CAER,” Lara said.

Rachel Ray, Harold Nicoll, Darren Slover, Greg Yount, Reme Lara, Tabitha Ray volunteers from CAER pose with their booth.
Rachel Ray, Harold Nicoll, Darren Slover, Greg Yount, Reme Lara, Tabitha Ray volunteers from CAER pose with their booth.

Brazosport CAER formed in 1985, making it one of the first CAER programs in the nation. Since it began, Brazosport CAER has worked to continually promote better communication with residents concerning chemical emergencies, the organization says.

Many of the methods it has historically used, however, have been superseded by technological advances. For instance, a database of home phone numbers won’t provide the extensive reach it did in past decades as many people no longer have landlines. There also are tens of thousands of new residents in the region who might not be aware of CAER and the important role it plays.

Program members recently have been working to completely revamp and revitalize CAER by changing communication methods and increasing awareness of the program, community awareness chairwoman Tabitha Ray said.

“Our community is completely different from when we were first founded,” Ray said. “We have had a lot of growth, new people have moved to our community and there has been a lot of change in technology. It is vital that CAER change as well.”

One of the ways it has changed it by getting upto-date with social media and creating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, with the latter two being the newest additions, Lara said. Brazosport CAER currently has 1,300 Facebook followers.

“We want to be the link between the industry.”

https://thefacts.com/article_97578223-3601-5728-b073-57391f9c60e9.html

The BCPC hosted its first ever safety symposium on the hazards of dropped objects. Several things were dropped from this tower to emphasize the point.

Brazoria County Petrochemical Council Emphasizes Prevention of Injuries Caused by Dropped Objects

Brazoria County Petrochemical Council Emphasizes Prevention of Injuries Caused by Dropped Objects

There are more than 50,000 “struck by falling object” OSHA recordable injuries every year in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Preventing these types of injuries in the workplace motivated approximately 200 professionals to spend an afternoon at the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) Environment Health & Safety (EH&S) Committee’s ‘Stop the Drop’ safety symposium.

This was the BCPC EH&S committee’s first safety related event. It took place May 19, 2022, at the ABC Texas Gulf Coast located in Freeport, TX. Alex Martinez from Brock Group and Michael Gill from Turner Industries presented the latest and best information available on dropped objects injury prevention to the industry professionals present. Later, a meaningful Q&A session was held with the audience and panel members from BCPC owner and contractor companies.

BCPC Motives

The members of the BCPC have one primary goal; to collaborate with each other and our community so that we earn the public’s trust every day. The dropped objects safety symposium and other activities from the BCPC are to always act as good neighbors. “The BCPC membership works and behaves in socially responsible ways so that everyone who works inside member facilities goes home in the same condition in which they arrived every day,” according to Paul Spinks, Shintech’s Freeport, TX site leader and president of the BCPC. “This event helps define what this group of petrochemical companies are about, to engage in the best, safest ways to work that preserves everyone’s health and safety.”

Prevention as the Remedy

Those annual “struck by falling object” OSHA recordables equate to one injury caused by a fallen item every 10 minutes. This level of risk is on par with the consequences of other petrochemical industry hazards like

confined space entry. Working at heights should receive the same attention. “The members of the EH&S committee chose dropped object prevention because it is a common risk that we all face,” said Dirk Perrin, plant manager for Chevron Phillips Chemical in Sweeny, TX and chair of the BCPC EH&S Committee. “There is value learning from each other to eliminate this hazard.”

Good Housekeeping Prevents Hazards and Injuries

Activity in elevated spaces will often result in tools and materials left behind on scaffolding. “An emphasis on housekeeping at raised levels prevents things from accidentally being kicked off an elevated platform,” Perrin said. “Objects that fall can bounce up, impact, or ricochet off other surfaces while falling, posing a threat to people who are working in adjacent areas.”

Dropped Objects Injury Prevention

Considering the millions of scaffolding parts, tools, and materials at elevated heights in facilities, there are many opportunities for a dropped object to come in contact with a person.  “There is no level of caution that is too much effort for dropped object prevention,” Perrin said.

Consider the Following When Planning Elevated Work

With prevention in mind these steps will aid those working off the ground:

  • Place nets around and underneath scaffolds to ‘catch’ things that drop straight down.
  • Use tethers on tools that could slip out of someone’s hand.
  • Put barricades around areas where items could fall and ricochet.
  • Keep the worksite tidy, both on and off the ground. Tidiness also eliminates tripping hazards on the ground and above.
  • Do not wait. Immediately retrieve anything left on the ground or on a scaffold.
  • Make dropped object injury prevention part of job planning and hazard evaluation/recognition activities.

“If these simple steps are followed, then the number of injuries due to falling objects will definitely decrease,” Perrin concluded. “It is up to each of us to be mindful of where we are while at work and especially when working on a scaffold.”

Dropped Objects

Damage done to a hard hat was just one example of the harm that can come from a falling object in the workplace. The damage a falling sledgehammer does to a hard hat illustrates the potential for injury on the job caused by dropped objects at the BCPC Environment Health & Safety (EH&S) Committee’s ‘Stop the Drop’ safety symposium.

BCPC Career Signing Day 2022

As college enrollment tanks, there’s a growing push to celebrate students going into skilled trades

From CNBC May 21, 2022

By: Jessica Dickler@JDICKLER

  • Signing Day, when soon-to-be high school graduates pledge to attend a particular college or university, has always been considered a special occasion.
  • Now students who commit to a career in the skilled trades are being celebrated, too.

Brazoria County, Texas, high schools had a record turnout for this year’s Career Signing Day.   Michael Martinez wanted to be an airline pilot. But as he got older, Martinez, now 18, decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a professional welder instead. In fact, the senior at Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas, has already landed a job that will start immediately after graduation. “My dad always wanted me to be in the white-collar class,” he said, but “he’s proud of me.”

Wendy Irwin speaks to the crowd at Career Signing Day 2022
Wendy Irwin speaks to the crowd at Career Signing Day 2022.

In Texas, where Martinez lives, there are a growing number of industrial job openings but fewer people to fill them.

These seniors from Brazoria County, Texas high schools committed to full-time jobs on Career Signing Day, 2022. Photo: Billy Loveless, Brazosport College.

Part of the labor shortage is due to experienced workers aging out of the field, according to Chris Witte, a senior vice president and site leader for BASF, a chemical company in Freeport, Texas.

“We want to grow the talent pool and we want to give students opportunities,” Witte said. “The goal is to show them that these are very good, high-paying jobs.”

To encourage more students to consider careers in the field, Martinez’s school district hosts an annual Career Signing Day.

“This Career Signing Day came out of nowhere,” Martinez said. “I thought I might as well try it.”

More people are accustomed to the fanfare that surrounds signing days, when soon-to-be high school graduates pledge to attend a particular university.

For college-bound athletes headed to big-name schools, these occasions are particularly celebrated among friends, family and the community at large.

Now, school districts are throwing their support and praise behind high schoolers who make a similar commitment to a skilled trade.

“Just as we would celebrate a football player or any other athlete, we want to celebrate just as proudly our skilled tradesmen and women and their decision to pursue a career,” said Chelle Travis, executive director at SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit aimed at connecting students with technical careers.

Michael Martinez on Career Signing Day, 2022.

Michael Martinez on Career Signing Day, 2022. Source: Harold Nicoll

 

 

 

“What they do is essential work.” This spring, more than 1,000 students across 33 states took part in Career Signing Day.

In Brazoria County, just south of Houston, 48 graduating seniors, including Martinez, signed for full-time jobs at one of the chemical and petrochemical companies that make up the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council.

This was Brazoria County’s fourth annual Career Signing Day and by far its most popular. More than twice as many students applied and were hired into full-time positions than last year.

“The response has been phenomenal,” said Aaron Ennis, a committee chair and resource development coordinator for the Brazosport Independent School District. Adrianna Webster on Career Signing Day, 2022.

Adrianna Webster on Career Signing Day, 2022. Source: Harold Nicoll.

 

 

“We are on the cusp of being one of the largest signing days up and down the Gulf Coast,” he added. “That’s our goal.” To be considered, students must submit written applications, including an essay, and interview with hiring managers. “We need to know that these applicants are serious about their commitment because they can potentially last an entire career,” Ennis said.

“It is a rigorous process because these jobs represent a substantial investment by the contract and BCPC member companies,” he added, which now includes 25 employers, such as Chevron-Phillips Chemical, Dow, Huntsman and Vencorex.

“I was excited and scared because there were four girls that were [applying] and I wasn’t sure if all, or any, of us would get a job offer,” said Angleton High School senior Adrianna Webster.

Webster, 18, was one of the students offered a full-time position at KCG Industries as a welder, earning $16 an hour. “Nobody in my family has gone to college,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do; I thought welding looked interesting and I was good at it.”

She starts in July, after competing in a national welding competition (Webster is a Texas state welding champion). Increasingly, teenagers are rethinking the value of college.

Amid the heightened demand for workers, rising cost of tuition and growing student loan burden, more students are choosing career-connected pathways over four-year colleges, according to recent reports.

As enrollment falls, skilled trade programs are booming.The likelihood of attending a four-year school sank 20% in the last two years — down to 51%, from 71%, according to ECMC Group, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit. ECMC Group polled more than 5,300 high school students five times since February 2020.

Meanwhile, more than one-third of high school students said they believed a career and technical education could lead them to success. “Today’s students have experienced the pandemic’s impact, and they want to forge their own path — a path that is shorter in duration, more affordable and connects directly to a career — especially a career in a field that needs workers,” said Jeremy Wheaton, ECMC Group’s president and CEO.

A separate study by YouthTruth, which polled more than 22,000 students in the class of 2022, found that more than one-quarter, or 28%, of high school seniors said their plans have changed since the start of the pandemic with fewer students interested in going to college at all.