BP’s gift to the School of Energy is designed to help meet growing workforce development needs in the San Juan Basin’s energy industry and across onshore production businesses in North America.
The gift will go towards the development of a new building on the Farmington campus in a location yet to be determined, as well as state-of-the-art curriculum and training courses in disciplines ranging from natural gas to solar power.
“We are extremely grateful for BP’s generosity and partnership in this endeavor,” said Dr. Toni Pendergrass, President of San Juan College. “With BP’s support, the investment will bring new revenues to local businesses, while at the same time expanding the current tax base and revenues for the state of New Mexico.”
The School of Energy has already created one of the most successful technical education and training programs in North America. It graduates approximately 250 students per year in associate degree and certificate energy-focused programs, while training over 7,000 individuals per year in various industry curricula.
With their accredited Natural Gas Compression and Lease Operator program, students are able to earn an Associate Degree or certification. In addition to natural gas production, the School of Energy offers programs in commercial driving licensure (CDL), solar energy, and occupational safety.
BP’s donation, to build a new “BP School of Energy” facility, will enable the School of Energy to meet growing workforce training needs in the industry, expanding opportunities for students and employers alike.
BP currently recruits employees from the School of Energy, and sends employees to the College for an eight-day “Jump Start Immersion Program.”
“The School of Energy is leading BP’s onshore workforce development program,” said Tim Harrington, BP’s North America Gas Regional President. “The programs offered here at San Juan College will prepare students well to ensure the safety of people and the protection of the environment in natural gas development.”
In addition to the initial $4 million donation provided by BP, San Juan College’s governing board has pledged $2 million toward the project. The San Juan College Foundation will initiate a capital campaign, and once the Foundation raises an additional $3 million, BP has pledged to match another $1 million.
“The San Juan College Foundation Board is excited to join BP’s effort in furthering the training capacity of the School of Energy,” says Gayle Dean, SJC Foundation executive director. “Thanks to the longstanding partnership between BP and the School of Energy and a generous community, this joint endeavor will benefit the community and energy workforce in countless ways now and in the future.”
“New Mexico is a leader in energy production and this investment will provide an important boost to our state’s economy,” said Governor Susana Martinez. “With a talented workforce and a commitment to responsible development of our resources, New Mexico and San Juan County are a perfect home for BP’s training efforts.”