Chase and San Jacinto College to bring petrochemical focus to high school students

01.16.2014 | By

(left to right) Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives, Workforce, Community, and Diversity; Carolyn Watson, relationship manager for Global Philanthropy with Chase bank; Martha Van Buskirk, grant writer with the San Jacinto College Office of Grants Management; Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College Chancellor.  Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

Chase and San Jacinto College to bring petrochemical focus to high school students

Jeannie Peng-Armao -- January 17, 2014



PASADENA, Texas – Chase and San Jacinto College are partnering up to inform thousands of high school students about the clear-cut pathways to jobs within the petrochemical industry.

Chase recently donated $100,000 to the College for the Great Jobs=Great Careers=Your Future grant, which will fund a pilot program at North Shore High School, La Porte High School, South Houston High School, and Channelview High School. The program will provide information to educate students, their families, and their school counselors about the high-wage/high demand jobs in the areas of oil and gas; process technology; diesel technology; accounting; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; engineering design graphics; welding; construction; computer science; and pipefitting.

Designed by both Chase and San Jacinto College, the program is the first of its kind that is both "practical and game-changing,” said Carolyn Watson, relationship manager for Global Philanthropy with Chase bank. The goal is to enroll approximately 150 students into San Jacinto College workforce training programs. 

"We consider community colleges as the workforce training institutions of the 21st century," said Watson. The grant is a part of Chase's commitment with its New Skills at Work initiative to train the workforce for a demand-driven system. "Our region doesn’t produce enough skilled workers for the jobs that are readily available. We have a fundamental responsibility to find a solution that will bridge this gap. We must ensure that we are making the investments needed for our region’s economy and for our workers."

Participants of the grant program will include high school juniors and seniors and their families, and high school guidance counselors. San Jacinto College will develop materials to outline educational pathways that lead to particular jobs in high employment industries, videos that feature young professionals in their careers, and presentations delivered by Chase volunteers who will provide financial education for college planning and how to manage finances once employed.

San Jacinto College will host outreach sessions at the high schools to inform students and their parents of the jobs that offer high wages and are in high demand and that have resulted from the shift in the Houston economy. Chase will assist in these sessions by discussing the funding of higher education.

"Chase and San Jacinto College share the same vision, to help more people realize their full potential by providing them with the means necessary to attain an education and a career," said Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives, Workforce, Community, and Diversity. "Thanks to the generosity of Chase, we will have the means to implement this program that will provide high school students with their road map to one of these industries that are calling for more skilled workers."

The careers identified for the Great Jobs=Great Careers=Your Future grant program are designed to have students job ready in two years or less to meet the demands of the expansion of the petrochemical industry in the greater Houston area, Harris noted.

"We want to be a part of the solution," said Watson. "As a result of this grant, San Jacinto College graduates will have the credentials and skills they need to successfully secure high-wage, high-demand jobs. It’s a win for San Jacinto College's aspiring and hard-working students, a win for local companies, and a win for Houston’s economy."

About Chase 

Chase has 218 branches and more than 7,500 employees in the Houston area. The company’s philanthropic goal is simple - be the catalyst to meaningful, positive, and sustainable change. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase and its Foundation gave more than $190 million to thousands of nonprofit organizations across 42 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 37 countries around the world. More information about Chase is available at

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150 or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.