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EHCMA and ABC Houston Team Up As PetrochemWorks Releases First Set of Industry Best Practices

It’s been over a year in the making, but a collaborative group of petrochemical owners and industrial contractors have developed a set of Best Practices designed to better align the contractor and industry communities, remove barriers to entry, and promote the industry as an excellent career choice.  While safety is always at the forefront of every Industrial and Petrochemical initiative that is generated from East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) and Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston (ABC), it has become apparent that some practices could better serve the industry if they were studied and streamlined, thus the advent of PetrochemWorks.  The group referred to as PetrochemWorks is composed of a Steering Team of six industrial owners who represent EHCMA, and five industrial contractors who represent ABC of Greater Houston.  The PetrochemWorks group hopes to create a model that will lead the region in workforce development initiatives, and the newly released Best Practices is one step towards achieving that goal.

The PetrochemWorks Best Practices serve as a suggested guide for owners and contractors to follow to achieve a safe, prosperous, and healthy industry, while providing messaging and framework to attract a stable pipeline of men and women who are eager to begin a career in the industry.  While more Best Practices will be released throughout the coming year, PetrochemWorks is proud to release its first set of Best Practices which relate to onboarding, training, and workforce development funding.

“One of the biggest barriers we face in our industry is onboarding.  The onboarding process can delay a contractor’s entry into a plant for days.  This leads to a great deal of frustration for all parties involved – the contractor, the owner, but most of all the craft worker, whose livelihood depends on access to a site,” said Barry Klein, General Manager, Shell Deer Park Manufacturing Complex, PetrochemWorks Steering Team Chair.  The surveys, studies and findings produced by the PetrochemWorks Onboarding subcommittee has resulted in three recommendations related to Site Specific Training, Background Screening, and Basic Plus Refresher Training.  These recommended Best Practices, endorsed by the PetrochemWorks Steering Team, will result in expedited site access for craft workers and improved efficiency, all while keeping safety at the forefront of the process.

The PetrochemWorks group also released Best Practices related to training. “Investing in the education of the craft workforce is key to having the most highly skilled craft professional workforce in the Gulf Coast region,” said Carla Thompson, PetrochemWorks Training subcommittee chair, with Turner Industries Group.  The Training subcommittee made twelve recommendations related to the training process, ranging from a recommendation to use the NCCER accredited training system and performance testing to verify a worker’s competency, to integrating evolving technology into craft training and leveraging on-the-job training for helpers.  The Training subcommittee also introduced a Craft Training Metrics to demonstrate the suggested progression and pathway for a craft worker to become a true Craft Professional.

Lastly, the PetrochemWorks group acknowledges that no great training program is possible without financial support.  The PetrochemWorks Steering Team recommends actively supporting and participating in the Training Contributor Agreement, administered by the Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF).  By promoting a community-based approach to training, through CMEF’s Training Contributor Agreement, the industry will be able to maintain and upskill a pool of trained workers while attracting new individuals to the industry.

To learn more about the Best Practices, download a copy of the PetrochemWorks Best Practices white paper below.

For more information, contact Jennifer Woodruff, PetrochemWorks Communication Chairat (713)523-6222, j.woodruff@abchouston.org