Thanks to the support of local businesses LyondellBasell and Austin Industrial, students in Galena Park ISD’s metal trades and welding programs are able to hone their skills using some of the latest industry tools and techniques.
LyondellBasell and Austin Industrial have donated welding machines, welding supplies, materials and even a few of their workers. LyondellBassell employees Donald Abbott and Lloyd Brecheen gave the students a hands-on idea of how and what Lyondell’s welding department fabricates. Austin Industrial sent Brian Daniel, a welding inspector, to check the progress of the student projects.
The projects began on Oct. 13, 2008 when Abbott and Brecheen brought material, drawings, and sample pieces and also discussed how to cut material and read the piping print. The two returned on Oct. 16 to demonstrate how to fit the project piece and how to tack weld. Abbot and Brecheen returned on Oct. 23 to work with students to demonstrate TIG welding with pipe.
Daniel visited on Oct. 30 with Anna Diaz from LyondellBasell to review the student welds and view sample x-ray films.
Eloy Salinas and Andres Salgado, seniors in the program, were pipefitting and welding on one of the projects.
Asking them about the experience they replied “The work was hard at first but trying something new always is a challenge. After observing Mr. Brecheen from Austin Industries and having him work through the procedures it wasn’t quite as hard.”
Heading up the program for LyondellBasell and Austin Industrial are Anna Diaz and Donnie McCoy with the support of the LyondellBasell Maintenance Manager, Dave Nicolardi and President of Austin Industrial, Barry Babyak. The Adopt-a-School Program allows four graduating students to work within the Refinery as trainees thru the summer, exposing them to different crafts offered in the industry.
At the end of the 90-day program the students may chose to continue the program by enrolling in school to continue their education in the desired Industrial craft or if the opportunity permits the student may be hired by the Contract Company they are assigned to.
The opportunities for work after finishing the metal trades and welding courses at Galena Park ISD are worldwide. More and more industrial craft specialists are needed in the world market as the petrochemical industries, nuclear energy, military, ports, and construction sites everywhere need skilled workers.
This program will also help the companies get workers with a higher skill level to replace their retirees. At the same time these new workers will get the benefit of the years of experience being taught by the retirees themselves. This is a win-win situation for all concerned.
Lloyd Brecheen demonstrates a skill to students (l-r): Onias Ruiz, Andres Salgado and Eloy Salinas.
Donald Abbott and Brecheen review techniques with students in GPISD’s metal trades and welding programs.