LEMONT, Ill., Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The CITGO Lemont Refinery and Joliet Junior College (JJC) recently announced a new scholarship for STEM students through the establishment of a $250,000 endowment with the Joliet Junior College (JJC) Foundation.

"During 2016 we began discussions with Will County Executive Larry Walsh, Sr. on how CITGO could make a positive impact in Will County by investing in the next generation of leaders in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We concluded that a scholarship endowment would serve as the best conduit for workforce development and job opportunities for the residents of Will County," said Jim Cristman, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.

The CITGO Scholarship will be awarded annually to a JJC student(s) in one of the following majors: Process Control Instrumentation, Operations Engineering Technology, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Electrical/Electronic Automated Systems, Process Operations Technology or the dual credit high school program ― Advanced Integrated Manufacturing. Applicants can be either part or full time students, but must demonstrate a financial need and exhibit community involvement through volunteer activities. The scholarship is non-renewable, and the number awarded per academic year will be determined by the JJC Foundation based on accrued interest from the endowment.

The 2017 recipients of CITGO Scholarship are Matthew Lane and Kayla Storme. Lane is currently pursuing two Associates degrees — one in Industrial Maintenance Technology and the other in Electrical/Electronics Automated Systems. Storme is majoring in Operations Engineering with the end goal of a career in chemical engineering. The students will receive their $5,000 scholarship and be recognized by CITGO, the JJC Foundation, and Executive Walsh during a presentation at the college on Wednesday, February 15 at 4:30 p.m. 

According to Walsh, JJC, the nation's first public community college, offers a wide variety of opportunities with regard to STEM education because employment forecasts predict significant growth in technology occupations.

"CITGO has been an excellent community partner for many years. Through this generous scholarship, students will be able to further their education in various areas of technology. I congratulate Kayla and Matthew as the first recipients, and wish them much luck in their future studies and careers," said Walsh.

This endowment is part of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program, which partners with educational organizations near the company's operational areas to increase access to educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. The program promotes the importance of STEM education in the socioeconomic development of our communities and highlights the numerous pathways to rewarding careers, including those in the energy industry. It provides grants to schools and educational organizations to support programs that increase student interest, retention and graduation rates – particularly at the high school and post-secondary levels – and those that prepare students for STEM technical and university level curriculum. The program also provides scholarships for students pursuing higher degrees in STEM fields. In 2016, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline benefited 3,000 students and 300 educators across the CITGO operational footprint, strengthening the communities where the company has a presence.

About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
For over 90 years, CITGO Lemont Refinery has employed more than 750 Chicago area residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 5,500 locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont Refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. Operations at the Lemont Refinery began in 1925 with a major expansion, doubling the facility, in 1933. Over the years, new units were added to meet the demand for a better quality of gas for automobiles, aviation fuel for WWII, and the production of asphalt. Petróleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, acquired 100% ownership of the refinery in 1997 and began operations as CITGO Lemont Refinery. For more information, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.


SOURCE CITGO Petroleum Corporation