A local externship program is helping Port Arthur teachers prepare their students for the future. Teachers from the Port Arthur Independent School District (PAISD) and other local schools worked alongside Valero's refinery operators, engineers and maintenance crew for one week as part of the Workforce Solutions Southeast Texas Summer Externship Program.
This marks the second year Valero has participated in the externship program. Educators toured the refinery and partnered with employees from various departments, learning about opportunities available to students in the Port Arthur community – and at Valero.
Vandie Smith, a welding teacher at Port Arthur Memorial High School, says the experience was great. He has information and lessons to take back to his classroom and share with his students, such as what skills are needed to get a job at Valero.
The externship has the ability to impact more students at one time, explained Yolanda Clark, a West Orange-Stark High School teacher. By sharing her externship experience with her 155 students, she can motivate them. In turn, they can tell more students about the careers available in the refining and petrochemical industry.