Engineering company Emerson has helped design, equip, and provide training tools for San Jacinto College’s new Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology (CPET), designed to empower students of all levels with the skills and training needed to support careers in the evolving petrochemical and refining industries. The new, 151,000-square-foot complex is the largest petrochemical training facility along the Texas Gulf Coast.
The industry estimates it will need to replace as many as 40 percent of its current workers due to retirements over the next decade, according to the Texas Gulf Coast Community College Petrochemical Initiative. The CPET expands the college’s capabilities to develop and train for petrochemical manufacturing areas where a more skilled workforce is needed to operate in an environment that is transforming from reactive to technology-focused predictive and prescriptive approaches.
San Jacinto College, with four campuses located throughout East Harris County, has served as the training leader for the petrochemical, energy and technology workforce in the greater Houston area for more than 50 years. The community college serves approximately 45,000 students each semester and is a training hub to the largest petrochemical manufacturing complex in the United States, and second largest in the world (with 90 industries and 130 plants).
“Emerson is committed to working alongside San Jacinto College to support innovative solutions that will help meet the workforce needs of the petrochemical and energy industries,” said Marcelo Carugo, vice president of global refining and chemical programs for Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “By partnering with community colleges and universities across the globe, Emerson can clearly help solve one of the biggest challenges facing the industrial sectors and manufacturing industry: developing and retaining skilled talent.”
The CPET is supported and equipped by Emerson and local Impact Partner Puffer-Sweiven and features an 8,000-square-foot exterior glycol process unit to develop troubleshooting skills for students and incumbent workers. Additional features include a control room and labs with multiple DeltaV™ distributed control systems, Fisher™ control valves, Mimic™ simulation software, Rosemount™ magnetic and DP flow meters, and Micro Motion™ Coriolis flow and density meters.
The CPET also includes 16 of Emerson’s Performance Learning Platforms (PLP) — fully instrumented “mini-plants” that provide hands-on training and collaboration capabilities to upskill students not only on the fundamentals, but also on the latest automation technologies.
“To build the premier petrochemical training center along the Gulf Coast requires a great amount of commitment from the industry, and Emerson has stepped up to support this project and ensure we have the right facility to fill the workforce gaps and keep our region’s competitive edge,” said Jim Griffin, associate vice chancellor/senior vice president of the Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology at San Jacinto College.
San Jacinto College is one of more than 350 institutions worldwide, from two-year technical community colleges to four-year university programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, that Emerson has partnered with to find solutions to address the skills gap in digital automation technologies. Emerson is dedicated to advancing education, innovation and diversity by collaborating with both industry and higher education institutions.