The petro-chemical industry is growing by leaps and bounds, pouring billions of dollars into expansion, while worrying if it can find enough qualified workers.
A $500,000 grant, by ExxonMobil, is helping to address the problem.
The money will be used in a program, announced Friday, to help Baytown's Lee College and eight other Houston area community colleges to fast-track students into the industry with technical certificates and associates degrees.
ExxonMobil Chemical president Steve Pryor says, "Industry is investing; We need skilled workers; Houstonians need the work, if they can get the skills and these dedicated schools, out there, that have this training: We're putting all these together."
The average pay in the petro-chemical industry is $86,000 a year.
In the coming years, expansion is expected to create more than 300,000 direct and support jobs.