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10 The Baytown Sun LEADER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

program will expand to include the first electrical technology internships. “We have seen a 100 percent success rate with our Lee College intern program,” said Vivier. “The interns are wellprepared for the industry. They come to us ready and able to work. That is an example of the positive results of our partnership with Lee College.” • ExxonMobil has provided critical support for Lee College’s grant projects – working in an advisory capacity, providing letters of support and sometimes providing some match for the grant through financial support or an equipment donation. • The financial support isn’t restricted to strictly corporate gifts - quite a bit comes through the employees. The ExxonMobil Foundation offers a three-to-one match for ExxonMobil employees and annuitants who contribute to their alma maters and whose donations align with matching guidelines. Thus, a $2,500 gift from an ExxonMobil employee or annuitant translates to a $10,000 total donation to the college when the matching program is utilized. Lee College receives more funds through the program than any other two-year institution in the country. The company’s employees

donate more than money. ExxonMobil personnel volunteer their time to serve in an advisory capacity for the college’s programs, as well as at a leadership level for the President’s Community Leadership Advisory Committee, lending the value of their work and life experience to the benefit of the college and its students. They participate in job fairs; provide speakers for not only college classrooms but to address much younger students as well as giving tours of the ExxonMobil facilities. Crosby native Joe Whiddon, whose hefty job title after 34 years with ExxonMobil is Baytown Complex Mechanical Resource Coordinator, went to Lee College himself long ago to learn the skills to earn what he knew would be a good job in the petrochemical industry as a millwright. Whiddon, who oversees all of ExxonMobil’s crafts, serves on those advisory committees, has been instrumental in recognizing and helping to fulfill needs in the Lee College programs and “seeing that Lee College has all it needs to train the people we need.” At ExxonMobil, they call him a “project champion.” Whiddon says the role of two-year institutions like Lee College has changed over the years. “The focus was traditionally on preparing students for four-year schools,” he explained. “Now there is as

much or even more focus on preparing them for trades and to get jobs in industry.” Students who go through the Lee College industrial trades programs “can go to work anywhere in the industry,” Whiddon said. “I’d say the programs are second to none in this area.” Some of the trades taught at Lee College even have accelerated programs that can mean that after completing the program, one can do finish their apprenticeship in two years instead of three, Whiddon explained. For ExxonMobil, that means a savings on training costs and for the employee, it means moving into a higher paying job faster. “And that’s because of the quality of the education that they get at Lee College,” Whidden concluded. Whidden believes it is important to spread the word to younger people, stressing to children as young as middle school just how important it is to get a high school diploma. “I think sometimes they think that just because they aren’t likely to go to a fouryear college, they think they might as well drop out of school,” he said. “It is so important to convince them that if they finish high school, they can get into the trades and get a good job. Part of my job is to feed the pipeline, to convince kids to stay in school, then get into Lee College so they can come to work for us.”

Friday, March 9, 2012

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Bayou and Galveston Bay. The major public terminals include Turning Basin, Barbours Cut, and Bayport. There are many private docks as well, including the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex and the Deer Park Complex. The Houston Ship Channel has been periodically widened and deepened to accommodate ever-larger ships, and is currently 530 feet wide by 45 feet deep by 50 miles long. The islands in the ship channel are part of the ongoing widening and deepening project. The islands are formed from soil pulled up by dredging, and the salt marshes and bird islands are part of the Houston Port Authority's beneficial use and environmental mitigation responsibilities. The channel has five vehicular crossings. They are the Washburn Tunnel, the Sidney Sherman Bridge, the Sam Houston Ship Channel Bridge and pop-

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terms the growth was 0.5 percent. During the years of 2001-2008, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown GDP grew at an annual rate of 8.3 percent in nominal terms and in real terms the economy grew by 2.9 percent. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown economy rank The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown economy is the 4th largest metro economy in the United States. Financial activities Financial activities led all sectors in

ularly known as the Beltway 8 Bridge; the Fred Hartman Bridge connecting La Porte and Baytown; and the Lynchburg Ferry. The proximity to Texas oilfields led to the establishment of numerous petrochemical refineries along the waterway, such as the ExxonMobil Baytown installation on the eastern bank of the San Jacinto River. While much of the Ship Channel is associated with heavy industry, two icons of Texas history are also located along its length. The USS Texas (BB-35) saw service during both World Wars, and is the oldest remaining example of a dreadnought-era battleship in existence. The nearby San Jacinto Monument commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto (1836) in which Texas won its independence from Mexico. The US Army's San Jacinto Ordnance Depot was located on the channel from 1941–1964. The channel was designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 1987.

the metro economy. Financial activities contributed $44,738 million in 2008, that's 11.1 percent of the total economic output of Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown. Another major sector in the metro economy is trade - $41,573 million. Manufacturing Manufacturing is the largest among all industries in the Houston-Sugar LandBaytown economy. Manufacturing accounted for 14.6 percent and contributed $58,753 million to the metro economy. Other major industries include professional and technical services - $32,034 million and real estate - $28,588 million.

Distributions of employment sectors

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• Construction....20% • Retail trade....14% • Manufacturing....14% • Education/health/social services....12% • Leisure/hospitality...10% • Professional/business services...9% • Finance/insurance/real estate...6% • Agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting/mining....4% • Public administration....4% • Transportation/warehousing/utilities...3% • Wholesale trade...2% • Information...1% • Other services...2%


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