February conference to focus on women in petrochemical jobs

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Nine area community colleges and several major refineries and manufacturers are joining together to recruit women into what was once a male-dominated industry.

Women in Industry is a one-day conference for women interested in well-paying career positions in the petrochemical industry. It is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19, at Hotel Galvez in Galveston.

Petrochemical refineries need to replace as many as 40 percent of current employees over the next decade — because of plant expansions and an aging workforce.

The need has opened doors to new career options for women.

The Feb. 19 conference will introduce women to the types of career positions available and how to prepare for them.

Attendees will hear from women already working the industry about actual job experiences, how to best prepare for these careers, what training is required, and how to network with other women while on the job.

The conference will include lunch and feature exhibits by area companies. Women will be given time to ask questions, network with petrochemical representatives, and make “real connections” with educators, including opportunities to enroll in upcoming classes.

A morning track will provide important information about petrochemical and industrial trades career fields — and how capable, motivated women are finding success in a once male-dominated profession.

An afternoon track will help show women already employed in the industry to “take the next step” on the career ladder, and how to make networking a valuable ally.

Scheduled breaks during the day will provide opportunities for participants to meet industry representatives from companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips, LyondellBasell, Occidental Petroleum, Covestro, Noltex, Zachry, Jacobs, and INEOS.

The day will end with “how to make it happen” sessions where women can learn about financial aid, child care, fast track courses, certificate and associate degree programs at the area’s community colleges.

Cost for the day-long event is $20 for students and $40 for adults.