Throughout our history, we have invested company resources in educational programs that improve the communities in which we operate. We believe a high-quality, well-rounded education promotes critical thinking and entrepreneurship.
Accordingly, all our sites have endowed time and resources into the entire education value chain, from donating school supplies to children in need and rewarding high achievers to funding university scholarships and providing on-site training opportunities.
Our local operations have worked hard to encourage students of all ages to pursue an education in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through various initiatives.
Partnering on STEM with BISD
OCI has donated $200,000 to the Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) to develop opportunities to expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education for students. The donation will allow BISD to purchase a mobile STEM lab and provide opportunities at the Career and Technology Education Center for STEM and petrochemical studies. In addition, OCI and BISD will explore the possibility of providing high school students with on-site experiences emphasizing chemical and mechanical engineering to promote STEM-focused career pathways. The mobile STEM lab aims to offer students a blend of career and skills education, providing flexible in-classroom resources that empower teachers with new skills and content ideas while serving multiple classes simultaneously with engaging, hands-on experiences; custom-outfitted STEM learning spaces. The BISD Career and Technical Center enhancements aim to provide a high-quality hands-on space for learning basic science processes, learning labs, and opportunities for ongoing mentorship in the petrochemical fields. The enhancements will upgrade students’ experiences and skills development.
Partnering with JINC to mentor youth
OCI is proud to support JINC, a Dutch organization that provides underprivileged 8–16-year-olds with mentorship opportunities in various professions, helping them find out what kind of work suits their talents and how to apply for a job. JINC reaches more than 65,000 children each year. Beginning in 2021, OCI has partnered with JINC to provide support both through financial contributions and by availing employee volunteers for training and coaching across our Dutch operations. We are proud to work with JINC, as their goal fits perfectly with our mission to enthuse young, diverse and local talent to pursue careers in the chemical industry. By collaborating with JINC, we not only help young people to create a better future, but we also offer our employees the opportunity to actively contribute to this. To date, our volunteer employees in the Netherlands have directly reached 212 students through internships, job application training, career coaching, and other skills training sessions.
Building the dream
IFCo is a longstanding supporter of Southeastern Iowa Community College’s Building the Dream program. The plant pledged $250,000 in 2014 to be paid out in annual instalments. This initiative is helping the school build its industrial technologies training centre, health professions centre and make other critical investments to enhance facilities and training programs for students.
EFC and EBIC Summer Internship Program
EFC and EBIC jointly run a summer internship program for university students, welcoming approximately 50-70 students per year on-site to train in a variety of technical and non-technical roles. Over the last 5 years more than 300 students from a wide range of local Egyptian universities trained on-site.
OCI Nitrogen participates in Jet-Net, an annual nationwide initiative in the Netherlands that lets high school students aged 12-18 see for themselves how challenging, interesting and relevant STEM is in the workplace and for society.
OCI Nitrogen participates in Chemelot2Discover, an educational program that aims to introduce elementary school students to the world of chemistry and to the companies on the Chemelot site to trigger their motivation for technical and chemical education. Launched in 2014 by the seven companies situated at the Chemelot industrial site, the program has welcomed more than 5,000 students to date.
Co-Op Program with Lamar University, Texas
OCI Beaumont’s cooperative education (co-op) program invites Engineering, Accounting, and Operations students from Lamar University to participate in paid on-the-job training related to their fields of study. OCI Beaumont hosts students as semester-long interns in various departments, such as accounting, operator, and engineering functions. OCI Beaumont also encourages female engineering students. In 2021 for example, the plant donated to Lamar University’s Society of Women Engineers for a project for the Senior Design Team of Engineers and hosting a virtual company information session to introduce the company to female engineering students looking to participate in co-ops or apply for full-time positions after graduation.
Flint Hills Junior Achievement Luncheon
OCI Beaumont engineers participate in an annual engineering job shadow lunch, where they work with high school freshmen and sophomores to conduct science experiments and watch sponsor-led demonstrations. The event is one of the largest job shadowing events in the area and is designed to spark student interest in engineering as a career path.
OCI Nitrogen participates in Girlsday, an initiative by the VHTO (National Expert Organization on Girls/Women and Science/Technology) that aims introduce girls to science, technology and ICT at a young age. This national event takes place annually in April and allows girls to participate in interesting STEM activities and meet female employees who work in STEM fields. During Girlsday, middle school and high school aged participants are introduced to Engineering and Chemistry through a number of fun and interesting workshops and activities. The girls are hosted by and interact with female operators, technicians, laboratory technicians, technologists, engineers, and plant managers.
Limburg Process Technology and Maintenance Foundation
OCI Nitrogen participates in a joint initiative of companies in the field of Technology and Chemistry (PML) in affiliation with the Limburg Process Technology & Maintenance Foundation. PML organizes different activities for vocational and higher vocational students to introduce them to the position and career opportunities for process operators and maintenance technicians. Nearly 1,500 students have visited OCI Nitrogen as part of the “process engineering week” in the last three years.
Southeast Iowa STEM Festival
IFCo participates at the annual Southeast Iowa STEM Festival in West Burlington. The program involves the development of a series of educational activities, including PH testing, electricity generation, pipefitting, and testing tools aimed at increasing students’ knowledge about fertilizer and the role Iowa Fertilizer plays in the region.