Learning to weld at the BCPC Welding Academy. Photo courtesy of The Facts.

BCPC Completes One Million Dollar College Lab Donation

A One Million Dollar Commitment Completed

As it first appeared in The Facts.

Million Dollar Welding Lab
The members of the BCPC contributed a total of one million dollars to Brazosport College for its Welding Lab.

The BCPC Completes One Million Dollar College Lab Donation. As a part of its ongoing commitment to the area’s workforce development, members of th

e Brazoria County Petrochemical Council recently completed their pledge to donate $1 million to the Welding Technologies Lab at Brazosport College. It is now officially known as the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council Welding Lab.

The donation to the BCPC Welding Technologies Lab, and support of local industry partners, has spawned new momentum for training and certification in the petrochemical trades. Brazosport College and the members of the BCPC are engaged in collaborative efforts to enhance the pipeline of students with dual credit classes, career and technology centers, plus other collaborative efforts, including the Veterans Career and Resource Fair, Signing Day and the Women in Industry Conference.

“Our members want to help develop and recruit local residents for lifelong careers in the petrochemical industry,” said Chris Witte, BASF senior vice president and chairman of the BCPC’s Workforce Development Committee. “These are positions with excellent pay and benefits that can support families, allow them to stay in the area, or take their skills to other parts of the country.”

Stop the drop

Brazoria County Petrochemical Council Emphasizes Prevention of Injuries Due from Dropped Objects

Brazoria County Petrochemical Council Emphasizes Prevention of Injuries Due from 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.

Dropped Objects
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.

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.”

About the BCPC

The Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) comprises twenty-four companies with manufacturing, storage and/or transportation operations in Brazoria County, Texas. The BCPC was formed in the mid-1980’s as an informal meeting group of local plant managers. The group’s operation is now more formal. Brazoria County is located just south of Houston, TX. To learn more, go to the BCPC Facebook, LinkedIn or at https://brazoria-county-petrochemical-council.com/


BCPC Signing Day Students Who Signed

BCPC Signing Day Students Who Signed

In spite of the global Covid-19 pandemic and challenging economic conditions, the members of the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council (BCPC) hosted their third annual ‘Signing Day’ where 19 local graduating seniors learned about their future careers working in the petrochemical manufacturing industry. Nineteen  graduating local seniors ‘signed’ with contract companies for on-the-job training, education, experience, and pay while working inside BCPC member company sites here in southern Brazoria County. With a record number of applicants compared to the first two years, these are the most students the BCPC has named at once in the history of ‘signing day.’

Those chosen will learn on the job, be paid, and trained right out of high school for lifelong careers. Upon completion, each will be qualified for skilled trades and/or plant operating positions.  BCPC members are committed to hiring qualified local people when possible. This program results in trained local people to work locally, though the skills and experience gained are transferable.

There is a significant need among BCPC members and allied contracting companies for trained, full-time employees. A well trained, motivated and accessible workforce is key to the continued growth of all BCPC member companies. A commitment to education, training and jobs for these students demonstrates the deep commitment the BCPC has for the people here.

Students ‘signing’ are from: Alvin High School, Angleton High School, Brazosport High School, Brazoswood High School, Columbia High School, Danbury High School, and Sweeny High School respectively.

Contract companies accepting signees are: KCG, Top Coat, Turner Industries, Wood, and Zachary, respectively.

Tbe 2021 BCPC Signees

Rudy Almanza, Angleton High School, Top Coat

David Chavez, Brazoswood High School, Turner Industries

Ivan Echartea, Brazoswood High School, Wood

Brandon Fritts, Brazoswood High School, Top Coat

Adrian Gonzales, Brazosport High School, KCG

Roman Hernandez, Brazosport High School, Wood

Ryan Hlavaty, Danbury High School, Wood

Josiah Hogan, Columbia High School, Wood

Jeremy Jackson, Brazosport High School, Zachry

Gabriel Martinez, Angleton High School, Turner Industries

Oscar Mendez, Brazoswood High School, Zachry

Zachery Peterson, Sweeny High School, Wood

Mya Ramos, Brazoswood High School, Zachry

Fischer Saha, Danbury High School, Wood

Jeremiah Sykes, Sweeny High School, Wood

Marqus Vasquez, Brazosport High School, Zachry

Cristian Virrueta, Brazosport High School, Turner Industries

Samuel Zapata, Angleton High School, KCG

Herman Zavala, Brazoswood High School, Wood

Scholarship Winners

Bryan Castro, Brazosport High School

David Chavez, Brazoswood High School

Jeremy Jackson, Brazosport High School

Gabriel Martinez, Angleton High School

Oscar Mendez, Brazoswood High School

Jeremiah Sykes, Sweeny High School

Cristian Virrueta, Brazosport High School

Samuel Zapata, Angleton High School


Signing Day 2021

Third BCPC signing day ‘only the beginning’

A record number of applicants, scholarships and jobs at the 2021 Signing Day.

From The Facts newspaper May 18, 2021.

CLUTE — Third BCPC Signing Day only the beginning. Josiah Hogan and his family were excited for him to sign with the Wood Group.                                                                                                                         

“Just the opportunities that he’ll have,” mom Trina Hogan said.

They know he’ll do great, dad Ron said.

Josiah Hogan was one of eight graduating seniors to sign with the consulting and engineering company at its Clute office during the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council’s third annual Signing Day on May 10.

“This year we were able to have a record of 38 students that applied for the signing day through our county, and we were fortunate enough that we were able to find 19 of them jobs,” said Aaron Ennis, co-chair of the council’s workforce development committee and chairman of the signing day outreach. “The other 19 — they’re still on our list when companies call.”

Brazoswood High School’s Ivan Echartea signs with the Wood Group during Brazoria County Petrochemical Council’s Signing Day on May 10, 2021. Photo credit The Facts/Prentice C. James Special to the facts.

Unable to have the traditional large gathering because of COVID-19, this year’s Signing Day took place at several companies throughout the day and culminated in a virtual Zoom program in the evening incorporating a handful of speakers, including company representatives and Kelley Cope from Associated Builders and Contractors.

Eight students were awarded $1,000 scholarships from Associated Builders and Contractors to attend Brazosport College and continue craft training, Cope said.

Each of the 38 students who applied for Signing Day were guaranteed two interviews, and every student did an excellent job, Turner Industries Workforce Development Manager Carla Thompson said.

“There wasn’t a student I talked to over the last couple of weeks that didn’t impress me, and what I want you to know is, we wish we could hire all of you,” she said.

Turner urged them to continue learning and to continue checking in for new job opportunities.

“A lot of us have jobs that are gonna come up this summer,” she said. “Call all the companies that are part of this Signing Day, keep track of who they are, call their hiring offices a couple times a week and harass the daylights out of them.”

State Rep. Cody Vasut, R-Angleton, was scheduled to address attendees as well, but the House was still in session and he was unable to participate.

Participating organizations included BASF, Contech Services, Dow, KCG Industrial, Norrell, Olin, Phillips 66, Top Coat, Turner Industries, Wood and Zachry, said Jessie Jennings, director of career and technical education for Brazosport ISD.

“At least one or more students from each school was able to sign on with these organizations,” Jennings said. “I love the way it shook out to where each school is represented tonight.”

Each student who signed on with a company May 10 will start work as early as the summer. They’ll make good money, have good benefits and build connections — and ultimately have a future in local industry, Ennis said.

The future is bright for CTE and for industry in Brazoria County, too.

“Next year will also be a record year,” he said. “I can go on record and say that now, with the pace we’re moving, this event will only continue to grow up and down the Gulf Coast.”

Before closing the presentation, Ennis congratulated the signees and encouraged them to have the courage to be a beginner.

“Everyone on this call at one point or another, I can guarantee you, has been a beginner,” he said. “Sooner or later you won’t be a beginner, and you’ll be passing around your knowledge to other people. … If you continue to have courage and embrace being a beginner, it isn’t the end. Third BCPC Signing Day only the beginning. It’s only the beginning.”

Corinna Richardson is the content editor for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150.